Personally I'm blood line, I don't feel the need to spend more since I don't want to be in a position where I have to take care of a settlement or county. Just want to have my house, my land and go out adventuring.
Right now the game is still in pre-alpha, and the Domain & Settlement Selection event just started. Monarchs have started to pick their kingdoms on the maps each server voted for. Next are Dukes, then Counts and Mayors/Barons. By the end of may we should have very detailed world maps for each server with Biomes/Kingdoms/Settlements. If you want to be part of nobility you can still pick after that by the way, but obviously the longer you wait the less settlements will be available. You can still wait for Exposition after Beta Testing and start from scratch there by spending EP.
From what SBS has hinted Alpha 1 should start this year. Still no official release date for the finished game. Considering we're still in pre-alpha, in my opinion this game won't be released before at least two or three years. It should still be fun to take part into Beta and Exposition though.