Sorry for being away and not getting back to you sooner.
I understand better now - it is almost as if people need to be able to look at products (course sessions) and even go as far as ordering them before registering / paying, much like one would browse items and even put them into a shopping trolley before more details are needed. This is verging on the e-commerce concept if I am reading it correctly (and which I have only limited knowledge about).
If understood correctly, moodle is normally 'register then access' and you want 'access then register'.
I am wondering if you could use the concept of metacourses creatively. There is good documentation on the site, but essentially if you register on one course you are registered in a load of them. Working this way, people could initially register (they have to at some point) to e general area, and then pop into other courses that they have already been signed up for in the background. It lets you keep courses separate but avoid endless registering. The fact is people will need to register at some point and frankly it is simpler done earlier rather than later.
You might also want to look at amember, which is a commercial interface that seems to complement a lot of moodle functionality. It may let you set up something that is charge on use as opposed to charge before use.
Hope this gives one or two potential options.
Roles and permissions
View course activities/information before logging in
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