"Nearly impossible" ?
It's actually fairly easy.
There are many many ways without paying too much, if anything over face, to get tickets.
Yeh if you go through ticket brokers that rip you off. Going through Ticketmasterbater or Live Nation is not that easy any more these days depending on the artist.
Not at all.
You're willing to pay $50 a year for a presale which may or may not help but can't pay a small premium for other methods ?
Plus I've rarely paid a premium and still gotten good tickets without presales.
Just got to do your homework.
I don't pay $50 (actually $40) just for presales. Though it helps it with good seats, it always as, I'm also a fan. A $125 seat to a U2 show will be $300+++ on any ticket broker sight. I've done my homework because I've looked for friends. I've been to a kazillion shows. I know how it works. Every once in a blue moon you may get lucky on ebay or craigslist just someone looking to get rid of some.
All in all I was just referring to whomever was saying the membership hasn't helped with getting themselves tickets.