Do you pay for your alt.binaries access? I just use torrents (completely legal ones obviously) as I don't download all that much.
I do, $11 a month unlimited usage...lovely
I do think a few providers do give you limited usenet access free with the package - you just have to ask - most though only offer around 7 days retention so you have to grab stuff as soon as its upped really. Ideal for TV etc.