Well, this post of yours certainly created some dispute.
From a woman's perspective, I have very mixed feelings on this. I honestly think there really isn't a "this is what you should do to get laid" theory behind this, just because this issue has become somewhat muddy and unclear over the past decade or so, at least in the U.S. Thirty years or so ago in the U.S., yeah, the guy ALWAYS paid. Even today, in some other countries, yeah, the guy ALWAYS pays. But now in the U.S., it's not so clear. I think many people have a variety of different views on this (trust me Chase, not all of us are stuck in "mainstream") so it's actually difficult, in my humble opinion, to offer a "magic bullet," so to speak, that will get the girl.
From my own personal experience, I'd actually say when a guy pays for me he's more likely to get laid but not necessarily more or less likely to get into a relationship with me. Why?.... Well, I always offer to split the bill with my dates. And they always invariably say no. I sometimes wonder if I should offer at all, because it appears to make some of them so nervous that I would actually consider paying for my own meal/whatever that they become convinced I don't want anything to do with them. But I digress.
I've had a job since I was fourteen and I value hard work and I know that when a guy takes me out on a date, whether it be cheap or expensive, he's spending his hard-earned money on me. And I appreciate that. But it also makes me slightly uncomfortable- I begin to feel indebted to him. Which is actually silly, because he is the one who asked me on the date and he is the one who refused to let me pay, but nevertheless, after three or four dates, I feel as if I owe him one. Or a few.
A common scenario:
I go on 3+ dates with a guy, I feel as if it's going nowhere, but by that time, he's easily spent $200+ on me and I feel like I owe him. Around that time, he might try to sleep with me. Even though I don't really see a future with him and I might not even be that attracted to him at that point, I very well might sleep with him. Why? Just to give him something. Then, I might casually drop off his radar. Sometimes this works, sometimes this turns into a stalk-a-thon. But after sleeping with him, I somehow feel much better about blowing him off than if I'd done it without sleeping with him, after he went out of his way for me and spent a chunk of his paycheck on me for the past month or so.
This is probably a really bad habit of mine I need to break- honestly, I must be the cheapest prostitute ever to feel as if I should sleep with a guy because he's blown a couple hundred bucks on me- but I know other women who wind up falling into the same trap. It's awkward and annoying.
In essence, I think one easy strategy for a guy would be to pay for his date unless she offers to split it. If she offers- take her up on her offer! I don't offer to split it to try to look polite or something, I offer because I would honestly feel more comfortable splitting the bill, but I don't want to come off as some crazed feminist by insisting, so I don't insist.
But I can definitely sympathize with how expensive dating is for guys. I've often thought about it, actually, and come to the conclusion that dating, from a man's perspective, is an expensive and often fruitless venture.
My own personal opinion is that you really shouldn't go to a restaurant/club/whatever if you don't think you'd be perfectly happy paying for whatever you get there. Obviously, there are women who disagree, as you can see in previous posts, but that's my opinion. I don't think there's necessarily something wrong with women who think the man should always pay or that they're selfish or something - I know quite a few women like this, actually - but I do think that a man paying for a woman is just such a huge societal norm in many parts of the world that many women would feel offended if their date didn't pay for them. And then the guy doesn't get laid, much less a relationship.
On a side note, when I'm actually in a committed relationship with a guy, I prefer to buy meals/whatever for each other. Going dutch with my boyfriend just seems like the most unromantic thing ever, so I like to just alternate who buys. Sure, if we whipped out the calculators, it might mean I wind up paying slightly more than he does or vice versa, but it seems a lot more intimate and a lot less as if we're business partners rather than romantic partners.