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“can the new breed do enough better to justify the cost?”
I can’t prove that, but I doubt it.
After consulting with couple different scope repair facilities, I have come to the conclusion that all the scope manufacturers are getting their glass from a common glass factory somewhere in China. That thought alone levels out the quality across the board of great many different scope manufacturers.
Then they indicate that the newer scopes are progressing over time towards more & more mass production parts inside the scope, hence there is not the old school fit & finish of the internals of days gone by.
This is only what I been told, I have not torn apart a lot of scopes for personal inspection. But, on many of the research articles I been reading, the old school Weaver T-series scopes hold their respect rather well. More than one article has said the old Weaver T scopes track & repeat better than all the rest to this day.