Well said - my sentiments exactly. The funny thing is that I was fairly competitive until 1999 on my Marinoni Columbus SL frame with Campy Super Record and other Campy period parts (early C-Rec, Croce d'Aune) mix. The bike weighed 22 lbs., had friction downtube shifters and light rims/sewups, but I like stage races, and on a 4 mile climb, I didn't get dropped just because I can't shift and stand at the same time. Those who could and did often broke their chains anyhow. That is when I retired upon being forced to upgrade to Cat. 2 - I just didn't have the time and commitment to get to that level.
Funny how people look for every gram in advantages, spend huge money on it, but then ride clinchers. I'd rather save the money, get nice sew-up wheels (of course, 7-speed allows much lighter rims), and spend the money on tires. The difference in acceleration is noticeable, unlike most weight differences.
Now, my randonneur bike weighs 25.5 lbs. (fenders, lights, and clinchers are responsible for the weight gain). So far, nobody has dropped me on the climbs just because their bike weighed less. If I now am 2 to 2.5 minutes slower up my favorite hill (13 minutes then, 15+ minutes now; it is a 2 mile hill with about 1000 feet altitude gain), I wish I could put the blame on the heavier bike. Alas, it is that I am not in shape for short efforts any longer - my focus being family and long distances.
Some old equipment would be a liability in a race - a Cambio Corsa wouldn't do too well these days. But anything from the 1960s onward, in my opinion offers the same performance as the newest stuff.
Jan Heine, Seattle