Merrill tables

Anyone have experience with the "New" Merrill table? I owned one in the past. Bought it brand new in '84 for $900.00. The new ones look the same but they cost about ten times the original. I sold my table in '96 (should have just put it in storage). I'd like to get back into analog, I kept all my records but in these recessionary times reaching for a New one is tough! Are the new ones worth the price?
As I see it, the Merrills are most likely on par or even better than many tables from other's firms. But the problem I have with them and at the price point of 6000.00 as stated above
there is no sex appeal with this design. I mean 6000.00 and you get a table that looks like a somewhat pumped up AR table. I would rather have a table for that price that was more in tune with the term "Eye Candy". Thats just my thought on the Merrills. Sound is very important but I also want my other senses stimulated to.
I do not own or have ever owned a merrill but i did get to know george a little when i lived in memphis and did audition both of his new tables. They sound great in the showroom. i will only point out that the heirloom rarely comes up for sale used and when they do, they are snapped up quick. How they compare to other similarly priced tables i do not know
I heard the TT at the Montreal show 2007 with a Tri-Planer Mk-7 and really enjoyed my time in the room. I thought it was a $12K TT I was listening to? A price rollback from $9500 to $5995 retail sounds like a smashing bargain as it's light years ahead of the mid 80's designs. Gosh in 1984 $900 must have had about the same buying power as $6,000 today, as the home you bought for $30K now is valued at $180K.

Are upgrades available for the old Merrills? I have an original from way back when---late 80s. Do the springs make that big of a difference? I would have thought the subchasis was the critical piece.