It's not evil if a company makes money off of you. I agree with you however; as a lease operator you will get a 1099 and you are a business (contractor) as well so you should be making money. This is the mistake that many make by leasing. They don't realize they are no longer a company driver but rather somewhat of a business owner (not an owner operator). I say somewhat because often times the lease operator has absolutely no power on how much he can work and when he can work. This is not a business I would want to be in. A true O/O has a say in where and when he goes and for what rate. You're right no one is forcing you to lease a truck but companies make it sound sooooo good that many not knowingly jump right in. This is their fault not the companies for not doing the research but the company is clearly taking advantage of drivers. The majority who go the lease purchase route statically fail. CR England and many others have been sued by groups such as OOIDA. This is because in many cases the company violates the law (truth-in-leasing). The company may lose in court but you the driver will lose regardless of the outcome.
I did a full lease with CRE and completed it. It was an uphill battle the whole time. Profitable, but I had to stay away from home 4 weeks or more at a time and be a trainer the whole time. If I were to lease a truck again, I would want to do it with a trustworthy codriver. First I have to find the codriver.