Well, 'get', 'obtain' aquire' - whatever word you want to use
Actually I've never had to pay very much for Starry Night. The original came with the telescope back in 2004. I've paid a minimal amount to 'upgrade' - often by waiting until they bombard you with low token rate offers. I guess they figure that getting some money out of you is better than getting nothing.
(Buying the equivalent version of Starry Night that I have now from scratch, without discounts, is getting on for £200!!)
Stellarium is free of course, but that doesn't help much if starts to take up increased processor time and memory by piling on new features. Especially if you use the same computer to take images.
Regarding remote control of a telescope from Starry Night, it does work. Just click on an object on the screen and the telescope slews straight to it. It tried it once, but it means yet more setting up before you start. Also if it goes wrong, not only is your image-taking fouled up, but your alignment is too. I like to keep things simple unless there is a very big advantage in making things complicated.