About all you need to know about the research can be summarized in the following image:
As you can clearly see the amount of tomes needed is not cheap by any measure and even buying the $5 pack will still cost over $1000 AND take over 4 years *if* the $5 pack is released weekly. Even trying to do the first few rows you will find things like leadership ranged (ATK) cost over 100 tomes at the higher levels.
If you're not fighting for emperor/baron, move along (as the shadow sigil is an expensive gimmick and the wolfpack sigil only works on wonders). If you fight for the base/wonders against people who fight for emperor/baron your guild will either have to spend to keep up or put yourself at a handicap.
If you're the rest of the player base. Hope this isn't the future.
Available Research Edit
| Economy - Defense - Military - Monster Hunt