I have 3 planted tanks without CO2. Granted, they are not AS lush as an Amano style tank, but its still very attractive, and folks who have not OD'd on gorgeous Amano-style online images are always impressed. The plants grow well, the fish are happy, etc.
The thing is, I'm doing my tanks "El Natural". In two, I have the Quackenbush setup - baked Georgia clay granules (aka kitty litter) with slow-release fertilizers, capped with FINE sand. This reduces the fertilizer from diffusing into the water column. The nutrient load in the water is minimal (anubias do not do well for me in these tanks) but the substrate demanding plants - crypts, swords and aponogetons really go to town. Hairgrass and stem plants do fine (just more slowly) and some floating plants keep the water column nutrients down. After the first 2 months of initial setup/settle in, I have had only minor algae outbreaks.
The third tank is also "El Natural", but using the Waldstad method. This one is relatively recent, but so far I'm really impressed. This is a layer of plain soil, covered by a layer of a larger grade of sand. This setup is even better, and the stem plants are doing well. (I think the clay base in the others does not provide enough oxygen for stem plants to root well).
The growth rate in all these tanks IS slow compared to an enriched tank. But, I do not fertilize, or have equipment headaches, I just feed the fish, and occasionally top off the evaporative water loss. I only vacuum the gravel every 6 - 8 weeks, and then, its mostly for aesthetics. Yep, you read that right! Its really, really easy! It may not be ideal for everyone, depending on your planted tank goals, but for someone like me, with a packed schedule and low tolerance for my hobby becoming yet another demand on my time, its great!
No, I'm not affiliated with the book person, I just read it and found it really intersesting, and scientifically sound. I have a marine biology education, and it was like reading a text book again, which I haven't done in years. But it was a GOOD read, too! Its called The Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, by Walstad.
I'm going to set up a 4th tank soon, this one will be 65 gallons. I'm definitely going to do the soil-based method. I'm convinced, LOL!
So, consider some alternatives if you're not able to get into the CO2 setup at this point in time! They're out there!