Great post, Stitchy. I will be interested to see your and others' expert analysis.
I don't have much to contribute in this respect, as I don't really have a collection or anything like your knowledge. But it's an interesting philosophical argument - do we want to know things that might inevitable lead us to be dissatisfied, or would we every just choose to remain in the dark? I'm one of those that just has to lift the curtain when I can. Even if I know it's going to be painful.
On another point, further to my BP post (and I agree, they were nice, but something is just not special enough for a top - priced, that is - brand), I have been tyre-kicking shamelessly all day in "The World's Largest Shopping Mall" and have seen and held many wonders and delights (to me at least!). I'm not sure if it might bore or irritate such a learned group, especially given the crappy pictures,but I think I will report in more detail tomorrow. The process of doing this has led me to a mixture of confirming and confounding what I thought I did and didn't like in the watch world. Which I suppose goes back to Stitchy's point: so yeah, I always want to know more. Even if I then realise I've been a dick.
Tyre-Kicker's Diary - to be continued....