Do young modellers, because of their age and inexperience, somehow deserve less quality by default? Lose them early, to either brand loyalty or the hobby as a whole, and it'll be hard to win them back.
Don't get me wrong there are several of the 'retired' moulds i would like to get my hands on at less than extortionate prices, but am i willing to fall back 50 years quality wise for mere nostalgia only to open a box and tut loudly as would often be the case - the DH88 comes to mind. .
As I said, let the die with respect. Encourage new blood with simpler kits* rather than older 'fits where it fits' moulds and reward the experienced folk with 21st century quality.
I still think that some of the seventies and eighties kits weren't all that bad, although some of the really old kits are so poorly moulded now that kids probably couldn't make them. With regards to the general quality of some older kits, it's probably difficult to assess whether or not younger modellers would appreciate the difference between them and a newly moulded simplified kit, unless Airfix went the way of Hobbyboss and started producing kits with only a few pieces.
I think having two new versions of kits, one simplified and one state of the art, may be an expense too far for Airfix. If only a new mould that is simplified is produced, that's going to disappoint a lot of people.
I do think that Airfix need to spend more time considering how to entice young people into the hobby though, they don't seem to be having much success at the moment. Roll on the day that kits are back on the shelves of corner shops.