I don't think 4e is playable without a character builder. It just got too complex.
It bothers me that my ability to play the game is based on WotCs supporting it.
This is incorrect.
4E is completely playable and character generation is fine if you don't use every single supplemental piece of mechanics that have been added over the lifetime of the game.
If you just use the Player's Handbook material, or just PHI & PHII material, or just Essentials material... you can build characters with just a character sheet and a book with absolutely no issue. After all... those of us who started playing 4E when it was first released had quite a while of doing just that before any Character Builder got created and released. And in fact... it's rather quite simple.
Now yes, if you want to select options from almost every single book and magazine article that has been produced for the game... then absolutely, the CB is practically essential if you don't own everything or want to spend a week or so combing through it all.
But to actually just play a 4E game... no builder of any sort is actually necessary.