Cloaking: Delivering one version of a page to one visitor and another version to others.
It's cloaking, regardless of your intent.
SEs consider free content to be anything they can spider. If it's password protected or blocked by any other means, it ain't free! ;) (At least as far as they are concerned. SEs and their spiders still haven't become smart enough to know your intent.)
Many sites facing a similar problem split their content leaving some freely available (and highly SE friendly) and the remainder, perhaps the "good stuff" protected.
Italian law does not allow me to have any of this content freely uvailable. It MUST have some sort of registration in front of it. So there's no way to make some "excerpt" page to feed google with.
In this case, I believe, I will continue cloaking as this is the only way I can come up with to get indexed for the content I have.
This would be avoided if meta keywords were treated as they are and believed without looking for a match in the page. I understand that would lead into all sort of problems (spam...) and that's why google should understand my cloaking.