Well I have been on a hiatus from model railroading for about 5 years. I have a pile of MR's to be read and I'm just starting to think about building a layout in my semi-perminant living situation. I have been out of the HO loop for quite some time, but my stepfather has been actively involved in O for a while. So I was thinking about building up a motive power roster and started to look at some locos. I need to get a couple GP38-2's. So I check out Athearn and see that they are going for about $50. About 5 years ago weren't they about $10-$15 cheaper? What happened to the provider of good, cheap locos. The same thing happened with the Walther's Cornerstone Series. I remember the first few kits at the $25 pricepoint. Then it was $30, then $40, then even higher. Can we blame this on the virtually nonexistant inflation? Doubt it. In the O market, prices have stayed the same but the product has gotten better. The original MTH loco's were $350 with sound. They ran well but lacked detail. Then Atlas brought out the SD35 and raised the bar on detail without raising the price. So what is going on? Why the jump in prices? I'm really saddened to see that some great stuff is going out of the reach of the modeler on a budget. It used to be that you could do a lot with a little money and a lot of ingeunity. Now it seem like who has the most cash. I'm just noting the relative shock I've seen in the industry. Tell me what you think.