I have been hooked on "S" since I was 5 years old. HO is too small , fragile and trackwork has to be perfect to be reliable.. O gauge 3rail just does not look real. "S" is the "Goldilocks" of trains,
We have much more to choose from now than we used to have in the early days of "S"
I used to collect AC Gilbert but have sold off most of it and now have saved my favorite running locos for the layout. AM, SHS and Flyonel. My layout uses AM trackwork and is a great compromise between scale and tinplate.
Lionel and AM have done a fantastic job considering the small share of the train market "S" gauge is.
I always have said "S" was a kit basher's gauge when it comes to most of the scenery and buildings.
That makes it a craftsman scale.