My comments were meant as tongue-in-cheek as I think yours were, David
I just had to show my righteous proletarian indignation!
I certainly agree that if you can afford it, and/or if you do not have the nostalgia aspect attached to a Lubitel, well, there is a lot out there that would be a better camera choice for beginner or seasoned photog alike!
I still consider myself a beginner, but I like things that make me work for results - I like cars that bite back when the driver does something silly, I have Stevie Ray Vaughan - grade strings on my guitars, I guess focusing a Lubitel is somewhat akin to those examples
Mainly though, I have one because I had one when I was a kid, and it makes me feel good to have one now. The funny thing is, now I mainly use it for landscapes (well, actually, tree-scapes - I've been on this tree kick lately...) so it no longer gets swung around by the strap
It still sits on coffee shop tables though, and its a perfect weapon against shy little animals. Park it on the floor, wait until the shiny lenses make the critter curious and squeeze the shutter cable... and once in about 10 you get a really interesting picture.
On a more serious note, I find that a camera that really makes you sweat makes you pay more attention, think your shots through, etc. That, combined with 12 frames on a roll (not like 35 mm...) usually makes for more thoughtful picture taking.
When not swinging by the strap that is