Good advice Dave...
I bought a rusted and distressed 36" round Red Indian sign last month that a few people balked at because of it's condition. Sure it had a few bullets sent it's way in the past, some porcelain loss and some rust issues, but it was worth saving and will be used for the time being. The cool thing is that these signs had lives, and they were made to hang outside buildings, have stones thrown at them and bullets fired at them. Hell anyone could walk down the road with a 22cal rifle 80 years ago and fire some shots at the head of the Red Indian sign. In fact, it was a target for many so they could sight in their rifles! They weren't manufactured for museum collections, they were made for Gas Stations, and most have a story to tell.
That one I bought last month is now having one side restored by Dan Van Kennel and it will no doubt display beautifully when it's done and hung on the wall. I've already been offered twice what I paid for it, and one person has already said bring it to my place when your done with it and I'll be the next caretaker.
Couldn't agree with you more on your thoughts Dave!