You guys with your number "correctness". 99.9% of the world won't care. They do care that the locomotive runs well and performs as it should. That is what we need assurance of and that is where we need Lionel to spend their time.
Even the 3-rail O world is starting to want more correct locomotives and cars. If it wasn't for us guys with "correctness," number or otherwise, you'd probably wind up with a painted 2x4 with command, smoke and sound. Or maybe 21085's painted in every color of the rainbow.
I mean, really now... It costs the same $$$ to produce whether the number is correct or wrong.
The Legacy and F/C Berkshires are really only accurate for NKP and PM. The others have some significant detail differences that set them apart from NKP/PM. At the current price point, these differences tend to be moot. If the Legacy's were going for a grand more, I would expect them to reflect those differences.
I don't expect everything to be rivet-per-rivet accurate, (unless I'm paying a River Raisin price) but the days of a generic detailed locomotive with a catalog number on the cab and American Flyer Lines on the tender are gone.
I have to agree with Casey. I'm puzzled as to why the C&O road number is written in stone, but adding/changing some other details are open for discussion.