Essentially I'd like to play a turn based 4x multiplayer game, like VGA Planets (whose home page is stuck on 2004). It doesn't have to be "play by email" but real time is not good for me.

Ideally it would be a game that would give me a couple of hours to think strategy for the next turn, submit and later on receive the results.

It doesn't have to be space based. And it doesn't have to be free (I don't mind paying for games I enjoy) but if it is "free" it shouldn't be plagued with microtransactions or pyramid based recruiting schemes (so I guess Ikariam and Evony are no good).