Have played with multiple players from friend list without unlocking. Same issue here. I get that the game was free, one of the games I play more often than others and its only 10G but the principle of it is what kills me. I do hope it will be fixed in time.
WP7/WP8 owners are a rare bunch but loyal.
@littlejay I'm not certain, but I think all my games have been ranked. They either start by me picking 'skill match' from 'create new game' or by picking 'play again' once a game has been won. I must confess though that I'm not sure what the 'pass n play'
you mentioned is.