This. Recently I was able to upgrade my 1971 in MS65 to a MS65+. The "plus" for me was really in the toning. I paid less for it than I did for my MS65 ($180!) just 2 years ago.While you were gone, many factors have caused a pretty dramatic fall in high-end Ikes and drove prices down, this has opened the door for cheaper/better Cherry Pickin!
I'm not bothered, though. Andy mentioned that "if you're currently collecting Ikes, it better be purely for your own enjoyment." That's exactly where I'm at and will remain. My registry set is a labor of love. I have really enjoyed building and upgrading this set over the past 6 years. That's what it's about to me- the joy of assembling a high caliber set. As for a 1971 in MS66? That's more of a possibility for me now than has ever been. That's a good thing, as far as I'm concerned. Besides, I think this series will be on the upswing again at some point. Everything has its cycles. The thing that will prevent this upswing, of course, would be a population explosion of the loftier grades for the CuNi issues. But, then again, that would still be good for little ol' me. I don't want the demand for Ikes to increase just so the value of my set will increase. I'm not in this for an investment (coins are terrible for this, IMO). I want there to be more demand because that means there will be more collectors out there to share the passion with. I'm optimistic for the future of this series. I think I have to be.
Oh, and here's that '71 in gorgeous MS65+ - Rustic toning on the obverse with a very "smoky" reverse. It's a handsome Ike for sure!