I'm about to update the fence on my table saw, and I always find myself wonder if this is sacrilege in the sense that there is always a possibility the fence will be seperated from the saw at some point, leaving a less than original machine. I mean, I don't plan to loose the fence, but the reality is that most parts are seperated from their owners in this fashion.
The other point is that I like original, with anything collectable. Hard to think about machines as being collectable, but there is a certain amount of mojo to those of us that prefer old machines, and I don't expect that mojo to get any less as we move forward, even though our old saws can't do the hot dog trick.
I'm replacing the fence as I feel a new Biesmeyer will be more accurate and easier to use than the original, which is a complete hunk of cast iron. The old fence weighs about 75-100 lbs, by itself, easy. I looked at the Accusquare by Mule Cab, Incra, Shop Fox, Jet, Vega, GI, etc...but caught a good sale on the Biesmeyer and went with the reputation and simplicity of the fence. Several are Bies knockoffs which says a lot about their design, IMO.
Had my saw had the nicer rack/pinion fence as some of the older ones do (such as Reg's Ollie), I wouldn't have done this. But I have the standard solid fence which is certainly solid, but not so easy to adjust. In Yates-American ease, this is the Plain Universal micrometer fence vs the Tilting Universal micrometer fence.
I want to have a table saw I can turn on, anytime, make any cut I need and know that I can easily set it up and make the cut safely, so hope the Biesmeyer meets up to those expectations I have. Of course the best tool for safety is the one between your ears.