Yes, indeed, Duke! Because it is almost impossible to train a lot of skills without buying additional supplies via the G.E., everyone was receiving more goods for every gp spent. I too did buy such things as logs, bones and ores, and I'm sure lots of those came from bots.
I'm not proud about that fact and in fact feel a bit "dirty" for partaking in the consumption of "ill-gotten gain".
But, as you said, it was what it was.
But, I also look at it this way: the cheaper price we paid for all those goods that the bots collected, is a small consolation for the extreme competition we had to endure when they were in the game. Did you ever try and chop down yews south of Seers' Village when the bots were rampant? Or, try and compete against all the green dragon bots, or chin hunter bots? Or, try and mine coal in the mining guild with them there? It was horribly frustrating!
It was a small consolation being able to buy some goods at a lower price.
But, now I am extremely happy that in-game the only characters I'm competing against for resources are real players.