You know, as a "younger" guy, and definately new to the subie world, I always feel as if I just missed the good old days. It happens all the time. I joined the air force just after "the good old days". I joined suabaru just after the golden era. I joined AKIC just after the good times. Then one day I realize there aren't any good old days. Nostalgia creates a very personal experience that our fond memories exploit to create a montage of awesome. Its just like when you reminisce on a old flame, you get that montage, but then edit in the reasons you broke up and the good old days become days that weren't that bad.
I haven't had a sour experience on AKiC yet. I see some stints of old rivalries and typical internet haters, but not once have I felt general disdain. I think what The old Guard lost is exclusivity. I'm constantly being called a hipster, I like secret bands, and I prefer the sleeper hit over transformers 36 3-D. Being this type of personality makes me veer away from pop norms. There was a time where wrx's and STi's were niche, hip, and more rare. Now everybody is very aware of then, and with that comes the unwelcome "me too" crowd. With that comes a cheapening of a cherished exclusive club. A secret spot isn't so awesome once everyone knows about it is it?
Also with a new and very aware crowd comes less personal experience and bonding. Its just like attending a small church of 30 to a Mega church that broadcasts on TV. Your gunna know everyone at the small church, and they are family. At the big church there are nods and smiles, but no one talks to each other and everyone minds their business.
Forgive me if I'm way off, but that's my rebuttle rant to yet another "You just missed it, kid." I want that community that you guys had, but will never have the time or money to commit to experience it like you did. Also, your secret beach spot now has a resort built on top of it for the rich kids to spend spring break. Its sad, but you can still enjoy the waves.