eBay asking prices are ridiculous sometimes...
If I wanted a functioning //e with a DuoDisk and an Apple monitor, I SHOULD be looking at between $150-$200 based on Completed auctions... They have some on eBay now for 3 times that.
I don't think those overpriced setups are moving all that well, obviously, as they aren't showing up in the "completed" listings? Right?
Having been at the beginning of the single-board micro revolution, just around and after the S-100 systems' heyday in the mid-70's, I got to watch the industry grow from garages to the commercialized and commoditized mess it is now.
For a nice //e with 128k/80column card, enhancement kit, SuperSerialCard, clock, color monitor, and 2 5.25" drives + interface, I would personally pay no more than $275 - $300.. As time goes on this will increase.
I wouldn't get fixated on the keyboard. There are adapters to let you connect a modern-day PS/2 or even a 5150-style keyboard.
I also prefer the II+ //e arrow-style case as opposed to the IIgs, because the arrow-case is the embodiment of classic Apple II styling. It is roomy inside to mount many things inside.
I also like the Apple II system because it has a comprehensive set of tools on the PC that greatly enhance the experience. A good emulator. A good PC-to-Apple disk transfer solution. Several Flash-based storage options. Awesome telecommunications programs that make use of tons of modems. And a nice set of disk image manipulation tools that exist on both sides Apple<>PC.
Once you get everything set up, you segue back and forth between the two environments efficiently, as if they were extensions of each other. One and the same. The modern PC has given our old classic machines a whole new dimension to play in. And the support they provide has increased ease of use by leaps and bounds. This goes for other 8-bit machines, too.
And I must not forget the excellent documentation for the II series. The early II+ Family System came with both newbie and engineering styles of manuals. Superb mom'n'pop tutorials and monitor ROM listings and schematics all in the same box. I swear I had a personal tutor right beside me when reading these manuals. The same can even be said of most peripherals and add-on boards.
As much as I like vintage Apple, I personally wouldn't go after the IIgs. I mean you can of course. Getting a IIgs won't hinder your experience at all. If I really wanted to get into exploring 16-bit "stuff" I'd tip my hat toward the Amiga for this, or an early Mac Classic. Development tools were aplenty. And the Mac and Amiga pushed the envelope more than any other system of the 16-bit era. IMHO, which may be biased because I didn't get into the IIgs till late in the game. And then I moved into a 486 DX2/50.
Also, you are not restricted to making one purchase and then forever having to be stuck with it. You can always add another system later. But it *IS* refreshing to see more and more people focusing on one or two platforms and getting into their finer points as opposed to building a mound of stuff that never gets used or played with.
Edited by Keatah, Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:27 PM.