It turns out Lynn Harrell has an essay on old vs. new

Dealers and Stealers


...What I take issue with is the implied necessity of one of these priceless masterpieces in making a career...

...Throughout the entirety of my more than 50 year playing career I have yet to encounter a string player under the age of 20 with enough knowledge, musicality, and technique to bring everything out of a master instrument. Assuming they were able to accomplish these tasks, I doubt that more than two percent of any given audience would be able to decipher the difference in sound between a contemporary instrument and one from the master era...

...The best new instruments are in many playing points superior to all but the most exceptional old instruments. Moreover, the cost is often laughably less expensive. The price range of $5,000- $50,000 will yield superb instruments.