I think it is lovely that all kinds of bikes are collected. They certainly deserve preserving, so we can see in 50 years what a bike boom bike was like, etc. Not all Schwinns were Paramounts. And many of them ride nicely, and provide their owners with a lot of fun.
On the other hand, classic bikes are one of the few areas where ordinary people of limited means can afford the very best. Try buying a 1950s Ferrari or a 1930s Bugatti... or one of the nicer classic watches...
For just a few hundred dollars, you can find some amazing machines, if you are willing to look beyond the popular and fashionable makers. I don't know what a Holdsworth Professional is worth, but a friend bought one a few years back for $ 213. There are many other so-called second-tier bikes that cost less than a mid-price hybrid at Performance.
Even if you lust after Cinelli, Colnago, Masi, Alex Singer, Rene Herse, etc., very few of these bikes cost more than a modern high-end bike, or the option package on an average new car. If you can save $ 5 a day for 3 years, you'll have it covered.
The best bikes, especially classic ones, offer craftsmanship and beauty that I usually cannot afford. I bought a Cinelli frame as a poor college student, and never regretted it.
This is not to say that a low-end Peugeot cannot be a lovely bike, but the thought of being able to afford the very best, hand-crafted of its kind is tantalizing, as it's not something that happens to me often.
Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122 http://www.bikequarterly.com