They did. The only reason to purchase gems is if you want the vanity items or extra character slots beyond what gold you have earned to buy them.
The gem store is also an elegant gold sink, keeping the game's economy from spiraling inflation.
I've been buying my vanity items with in-game gold, haven't spent a dollar on gems yet. It's been my personal goal to see how far I can go without spending any dollars and I'm a fan of the game, I just want to test it. I've been tempted a couple times, if they start putting out more and more vanity items or making those items more useful (would love to wear my pirate costume and aviator shades in combat!) I can see where there would come a time when I will pony up some cash to get them.