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1. As someone not willing to spend for it, it functions as a fun and limited-time mechanic where you can benefit from having friends and alliance members help each other out and enjoy giving gifts. I love this mechanic when used correctly and it can have a beneficial effect for morale and camaraderie.
2. Similarly to Cyber Weekend deals, if you don't spend on the game, there is relatively low benefit; though if you hoard up units or grind arena like crazy, you may see some good rewards. If you don't buy units or grind like crazy, you'll inevitably see crazy whales on Youtube or the forums and it is hard not to get jealous. Maybe if you work really hard, you can be excited for them, but it tends to magnify the gap between spenders and non-spenders. Most of this is up to your mindset.
3. Unfortunately, this kind of event tends to bring out lots of cheating and questionable ethical decisions across the board (muting global chat is always a good suggestion, but especially now). People do dumb things when great rewards are at stake (like in GGCs or top tier rank rewards).
4. Overall, there are great rewards available for everyone, and usually a few generous gifts from Kabam that make it a fun time. Many more fun rewards are available and achievable for more people than in Cyber weekend paid/unit deals, and I think the overall gamble of GGCs, etc. all combines into a fun time.