i'm new here and was glad Travis Johnson pointed me to this forum. I'm renovating my 1916 home and design and build furniture - mostly for hobby.
My shop is a mix of old and "new" - new being less than 25 years old. I started out fixing up old equipment and hand tools as a way to expand my shop and capabilities on my budget. Then, of course, it's fun too.
My machines range from an 1890's lathe (awaiting a rebuild), a 17" band saw from the same period, to an early 1980's Inca planer/joiner and a contractor's saw that's not 5 years old. I'm no historical zealot, but I like the older stuff better because, wierd as it sounds, i develop a sort of relationship with the equipment as i rebuild it. I've got a few 1930's machines that are mechanically tip top - i'll rebuild them when they need it or i get the spare time - whichever comes first. For now, i use them just about daily.
I'm not a collector - i only mess with equipment i'll use, or know i can pass on to a friend or relative. The one exception would be old motors. Single phase ones are harder to find than the old machines, and i do like to pair "period" motors with the machine it's running. When i see one i can get, i don't hesitate. So, i've got a small stash for future projects.
Then there's the hand tools. I like my hand planes, but again, am no collector. I like restoring and using the older (pre WWII) tools, but buy new when there's a need for a tool that's taken on "collector" status (read expensive) in it's older form. I always look for the older stuff first, but sometimes it doesn't make financial sense knowing i'm just going to be using the thing.
Between my old house, my young kids, and my old equipment, i haven't had much time for building new furniture lately. That's fine with me - i still do a couple of pieces a year, and i enjoy time in the shop with my 5 year old son. My 3 year old daughter is also getting into the swing of things.
I've learned a lot from other similar forums (Wood online and OWWM) and contribute when i've got something to offer, so i look forward to this.