I have been using Ancestry.com for years. Recently, I suspended my account for economic reasons. I knew that I could still work on my family trees and I also knew that certain databases at Ancestry are available for free. Knowing and experiencing things is two different things, though.
Imagine my surprise when I went to my family tree and plugged in a name; my Hebert D. Hill was in the tree and when I brought up his name I received the notification that there were three records available that could match my man. I clicked on the Social Security Death Index and wasn't really able to access it because by golly, I no longer have the status of a paid member. However, the "refusal" had the year of death printed in the "hit". Semi-Sweet, huh?!
Tried their next suggestion/hit: Public Records, which I also was not permitted to fully view. Finally, the third record which was fully available (oh goody!) was the 1940 Census record! There were no holds barred. I was very pleased, of course.
My other favorite website is FamilySearch.org. I like the records that they have available. I like being able to "create" and/or cite a record from another website. But the family tree isn't nearly as easy to use as ancestry.com's. However, it's early, yet, and I'm sure FamilySearch will improve over time, and IT'S FREE!