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    > TBH I never wanted cd's. They were forced on people AFAIC.

    This isn't quite true. The industry was initially hesitant to adopt it for a few reasons. One was residual anxiety from some failed attempts in the 70s (e.g., quadrophonic sound) that the consumer rejected. Another was the (in retrospect bizarre) belief that consumers wouldn't want to buy their record collection again in a new format. The irony there is that once the industry did fully embrace cd's, it became addicted to artificially high sales based on back catalogues and failed to properly develop new artists. Once Baby Boomers had replaced all their vinyl with cd, overall sales slumped, with little new to replace it. It also didn't help that Wall Street was attracted to the music biz because of those artificially high sales, engaging in a bunch of buy-outs, and was then quick to cut costs—mainly new acts that didn't hit it big right away—when sales flatlined, further eroding future growth. The decline in the health of the industry is due far more to that than online piracy. And third, retailers were resistant to the format switch because their display cases were built for lp's. The compromise was the infamous long box, which added necessary height so that retailers could stock two cd's in the space of one piece of vinyl. The long security cases that some places still use is the descendent of that argument.

    Apart from the sales from back catalogues, the industry really fell in love with cd's when they realized that it provided an opportunity to rewrite existing contracts—to their own benefit, of course—and provided cover for charging so much more than the vinyl or cassette price.
    I remember visiting the US and seeing The First Letter in this massive long box. I wondered what the hell it was, and asked the guy in the shop. He said: "Oh, it's just card sleeve that you thrown in the trash." I just found the whole thing bafflingly wasteful. (Maybe I'm misremembering, but I don't recall longboxes catching on in the UK.)
    Consumer revolt (supposedly) ended the long box, tho I suspect it was more about phasing out vinyl and investing in proper cd racks. As with any obsolete format, tho, its scarcity now makes it more valuable. I have a friend in the US who lives in a city with a record store that has hundreds upon hundreds of cd's still in long boxes at remainder prices. My friend's got a sense of the market on eBay and occasionally goes sifting. He's turned a decent profit for his efforts.
    I've found that some turntables minimize the bulk of the surface noise of the turntable. My Pro-Ject Debut III ($299) is surprisingly reasonable price wise and does a better job than my Technics 1200MK5 at surface noise. (The Pro-Ject's at work which is where I sadly spend the bulk of my time) Many decent modern pressings are surprisingly click and pop free. One of the worst times for vinyl pressings were the early to mid eighties - especially Virgin Records vinyl. Crackles from the first play! Pressings seemed to get better in the late 90's when more boutique pressing plants started pressing (especially RTI - though they've been around for about 35 years or so).

    That being said, I tend to buy releases on both formats - especially if I want to support the artist.
    I can only speak for myself. I visited the USA in 1991 and the only vinyl I saw were those at a local market I visited. There were none in record shops. I asked in one and they said they'd never ever stocked vinyl because they'd only been open a year or so. At this time I had never bought a cd and didn't have a cd player. I realised that if this is what had happened in the USA it wasn't going to be long before the UK was the same as shops were becoming stocked with cd's than vinyl. I bought a few cd's, a number of which were in the long boxes (which I kinda liked personally!) as at least they were cheaper there than back home, and bought a cd player not that long after I returned to the UK. And, as expected, it wasn't long before vinyl pretty much disappeared off the high street.

    So it was certainly forced on people like me - people who had been resistant to the change. Of course, one of the reasons why they caught on were people being hoodwinked by new sound equipment. "Listen to how much better cd's sound" the staff would say, comparing the sound from a decent cd player to the shitty turntable that they had attached to it!
    Being a young whippersnapper, I missed PF, CM and 154 on vinyl first time around on account of being in primary school at the time. However, I did catch them the first time they were released on CD, which was the Restless Retro US editions in 1989-90 (and long before they were issued in the UK). Therefore, I got them all in the long boxes brought back from the States and they looked ace.

    Believe my mum probably still has the Chairs Missing box in the loft somewhere (no idea what happened to the others though).