Someone mentioned to me that my 1988 Honda Prelude may be called/classed as "a classic" in 2014. (26 years?). I wouldn't quote me on that, however for a car, 25+ years is what the vast majority of people would call "old". Thing is, while the car is not my daily driver, the car is still drivable (passes its WOF) and still goes and doesn't require any serious work. If it ever did, finding new spares would be impossible - I'd have to start swapping bits second hand. It's not vintage, but I'd like to think of it as a classic.
Then again there are people who would consider a 2 yr old car "old" and have to go out and buy a new one. (I wonder what other "first world" problems people like that face on a daily basis?) The NZ Govt BMW Limo thing comes to mind. I'd like to think that those cars went to good homes. Or is there no element of prestige to owning an ex Govt limo?
I read somewhere that Intel has only recently ceased production of 486 CPUs! they were still manufacturing them because they were widely used in embedded devices. I guess that on the day a manufacturer no longer stocks or can supply a part, perhaps then that's where you could draw a line in the sand and say "this is now more vintage than it was yesterday"? Some recording artists sales increase after they die, as their estate tries to cash in on the publicity. I see someone on Trade Me has just listed a ton of 486 CPUs. Perhaps they're trying to start a similar phenomenon? I'd put my hand up for anything 286,386,486 etc. (or earlier) by the way.
I agree with the point "collectable" vs. "vintage". Whilst some gear is very very old (thus fitting the common understanding of the term vintage) unless it is highly sought after by a particular group of people because it may still have some use or following, I agree it's not worth calling "collectable". (akin to my limo argument above). A Pentium Pro (with all its FDIV flaws) could be considered collectable due to the fact it was targeted at a smaller market (servers) and was more powerful than the run of the mill Pentium, and had some bug. Same goes for "production error action figures".
I'm in that boat too
Perhaps this is what attracted enthusiasts to it so was sought after and gained a certain level of popularity or distinction?
IMHO the same may one day be said of the 2600K and 2700K CPUs of today, along with the extreme editions of P4s and Core/Core2's.
Then again, the world is full of hoarders like Carcenomy, so there's always bound to be someone who collects obscure things.