Yes, I too wish he had given a modern instrument a chance.  I think of - and admire - Frank Miller, who would only play modern instruments.  He owned and played two by Gunther Reuter, of the shop where my cello was made.
It also sounds like it was about time for Haimovitz to have his Gofriller extensively worked on.  (I can see the ad now: "Shop refurbished Gofriller at reduced price"!)