The fact is there are many advantages to S over O but yet I am the only one asking these questions. That is kind of scary to me.
Another thing that is scary is:
Posted by Johnnyspeed:
I like S, but I can't take the way things are going right now. I'm switching to HO where I can model the PRR steam era. I'm willing to give up some size for product availability, scale fidelity, standards, performance, and affordability. I hope it works out well for you guys, but it just isn't for me.
Phil, you're not the only one to ask questions, but I must say your depth and persistence is something I haven't seen in a long time. Most folks will ask a question or two then disappear.
Keep 'em coming. We won't get tired of answering if you don't get tired of asking.
Jonnyspeed's comment is not so much disturbing as it is understandable. S isn't HO (or even O for that matter) as far as availability, never was and very likely never will be.
The fact that folks like Jonnyspeed (and there have been others) indicated an interest in S is is encouraging, but he's made a rational decision based on his wants and needs. Perhaps he will change his mind, perhaps not. We can't force anyone into the scale. We just have to keep plugging away...
But there is hope (As an S Scaler, one has to be optimistic...) with Lionel getting a more aggressive with Flyer and MTH buying SHS. It is a transition period for both companies at probable one of the worst economic times, but once the manufacturing climate settles down, things will improve.
Right now, all the scales are suffering to some extent from the current climate. Few have their own factories anymore. HO probably is suffering less so mainly because of the density of manufacturers(OK... importers/contractees) and modeler population.