Well you *can* download and use it free to *Create* your character. I'm doing it right now, just download the "fast start" from the wizards website.
Since 1-3 is free, new low level character you create is free. Since the PDF print out sheets are quite clear, you can just drag and drop them into rptools. All you then have to do is update the +7, +8 or whatever on your character sheet.
If your using Linux, I guess the usual Wine is an option. Nothings stopping anyone making yet another Char Creator, but there seem to be little point. The best ones I've used in the past have just been spreadsheets in Open Office. Moreover, if you do it this way, you can export into XML for the ulitmate in cross platform import/export if thats your thing.
Ok here are the three points again
1) its not free
Levels 1 - 3 free is not the same as free, honestly if I want some that is free and
I cant use it for > 3 for free I am not going to use it for levels 1 - 3 because then I
would just have to change.
2) Using wine for linux is not the same as having an application that runs on the
platform, it doesn't look as good or integrate as well. As well as many other
reasons to favor applications that run on your platform (plus many Mac users don't
want to bother with wine).
3) Its still not integrated, you cant just drag the pdf into rptools and update it, and
even if you could that is NOT integrated. Even something that simply read the
campaign file and updated the character sheet would be more integrated than
The above are the reasons that people would be willing to create a character creation tool.
And while I know there are some good tools that use spreadsheets I can not think of a more painful way to do some sort of smart or semi generic character sheet, if you have the programing knowledge then any other way is better than a spreadsheet, it really amazes me the amount of effort people put into creating all sorts of complicated and convoluted tools when it would take a lot less effort to do things.