you can get the new sticks practically free at the likes of currys and argos, because they come with passes of a similar value. argos have one now at £25 which includes 1 months cinema, 1 months entertainment and a 1 day sports pass. they should work for existing customers, without having to sign up again or anything. the passes on their own would cost more than £25, so the stick is pretty much free. so long as you want the passes of course.
Why would someone expect to get the latest hardware for free? The white box is years old and were given away for free in the first place. Would one expect their mobile phone company to replace their mobile phone when it becomes obsolete or stops working for free? There is no such thing as free! We all pay the price for it through increased subscription costs.
The Now TV black box is selling on eBay used for £9.99. If you're that skint that you cannot afford to spend £9.99 on replacing an obsolete box that has provided you with years of service then maybe you shouldn't waste what little money you do have on subscription services such as Now TV.