Wow, what a great group of people and ideas and thoughts. As a very rank novice with the concertina I have to make my comments based on my piping and other musical experience.
Regarding hoarding....ahh well when I started piping I could have bought a very inexpensive Pakistani set of highland pipes but I bought instead a new set of Hardies. I would have loved to have a full ivory mounted set of antique Hendersons such as one other band member had but you know what... excluding the poor quality Pakis no one can hear the difference in the music created with Hardies from the Hendersons at 5 times the cost.
Now I do realize the pitch, tone and ease of play is critical with all instruments but like the comment about the books above, it is what is written in the books not the bindings. It is the music we are able to create with our little instruments that is most important. I have a modern Martin 0015 guitar and I will put its tone and playability against any antique Martin out there. But it isn't "collectable" !
Bottom line in my mind is the music created by new quality manufacturers is as good or better than any antique. So the price being "artificially" supported of classic instruments by collectors is irrelevant. They are simply beautiful, highly desireable and sometimes musical oddities to be cherished and if affordable collected. New quality instruments will easily fill the needs of new players like myself and should I want to dream of purchasing an old beauty it won't prevent others starting no matter how many I 'hoard'.
1 Martin 0015
1 Set parlor pipes
1 Scholer G/D with a dead reed
1 Native American flute in B
soon to add Stagi
( The Scholer will be relegated to my work vehicle so I can noodle during the day and heat won't hurt it.)