Since the last post, I think two events have happened that bear mentioning in this thread. First, the Northwoods Delta Jack craze happened. This shows that no bubble has burst on premium knives, or on the even crazier scalper market that ensued afterward. Second, the #78 American Jacks were produced in large enough numbers that legit buyers had a reasonable chance of getting the knife they wanted. To me the #78 release shows good faith on GEC's part, that they are not trying to create artificial scarcity on a knife they knew would be very popular. I think that GEC produces the highest quality product on the market today, and that KSF has cracked the code on a knife that many people want, plain and simple.
I also wish Queen would produce better knives to compete better with GEC. I got two S&M knives for Christmas, and both were defective. The clip blade on my S&M quart gunstock jack was rapping against the backspring, causing a flat spot on the blade edge. Unacceptable. Back to KSF it went. My S&M stag #99 Executive Jack has a visible gap between the liner and the blade tang, you can see straight through it, yet it inexplicably has a strong pull anyway. Only reason I didn't return it is because my dad got it for me and he said it was the most beautiful knife he's ever seen. So I'm keeping it.
Look, I'm one of the most miserly people you'll meet, and I'm buying GEC knives now because I think they're worth the price. A recent convert to traditional knives, I started out with Case knives and it wasn't long before I wanted something more. So I returned the last defective Case knife I bought and traded up for a Tidioute #14 boy's knife. The first GEC I bought was a #35 Churchill. I returned that Churchill because the sheepsfoot blade was too thin, beautiful though it was in the maroon micarta covers. Now I'm more careful about single backspring, opposite end blades, and crink-grinding, and I make sure I know what I'm getting when I buy a knife. There are some nice looking Queens for sale now, but I'm gun shy about Queens and I'll probably just wait however many years until GEC makes the configurations I want.