PKM, you do know that you can still buy a brand new shiny Omega (formerly LPL/Saunders) 4550 XLG VCCE, right?
Kienzle still makes enlargers in Germany as well.
In other words, why the doom and gloom? Are you frustrated because you can't find a cheap one? That would be understandable.
I think the problem is many people hear the stories of how so and so bought an entire darkroom for peanuts and they expect they will find the same deal. From my viewpoint the fact that enlargers are selling for more money than they used to is a POSITIVE sign for the future of analog photography. The internet makes it so that there are few deals left. Anyone with a computer can google an enlarger and see that a 4550xlg for example sells new for over $3000. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out you can get more than $50 for a used one if you have it. The dime a dozen run of the mill enlargers are all over craigslist. Those are easy to find.
A propos to cheap availability- I have a second entire head unit I bought just for the VCCE module since my enlarger had a color head. It is basically brand new in the box, all it needs is a column. It has the head, 4x5 diffuser, 4x5 neg carrier, power supply, lens board, dichroic color module.. Anyone interested? $200. I'll part it out soon if no on wants it as a package.