Well, you folks thought I should stop collecting older student and intermediate instruments, so I (hopefully) lucked out this morning on goodwill.com and picked up a great looking silver-plated Liberty with what looks like gold-plated slides. It came with 2 mouthpieces and the original case. I'm as proud as a new father.
Honestly, I'd rather have it than a new Strad. There's a bit of romance to the older instruments as well as a sense of history. So is this a jump up from a 60's Olds Ambassador, or what?