Hi,

What's better new than old? Overwhelmingly tooling, both lathe and milling. Inexpensive carbide tooling, (with proper edge geometry), has not only revolutionized industry, but even the home shop. Still, don't toss all that HSS. It still is very useful on the shop floor at times.

And like it or not, the influx of Cheap, Cheerful, Chinese machines for home gamers and makers. I often wonder if the ubiquitous 9x20 might not be the most popular lathe in the world these days. It seems to be the most modified machine, (If you can dream it, someone has probably done it and posted pictures on the internet). They are often far from the best, but they ARE cheap enough and easy enough to acquire to make them very popular indeed. And does it really matter if they won't last 100 years if many of us here won't be in 20 or 30 years?

But again, it's not age or paint or names, what matters is if the tool is fit for the job it is to do. If your old Starrett Mic meets your needs, by all means use it! If it ever doesn't, replace it with something that does.