I remember first starting this wonderful mandolin journey. I had no history, just my own taste to go by. I really liked the look of the fern and not so much the flower pot. I am thinking of this in particular due to the recent Fern vs MM thread. I did not think of it in terms of manufacturing process, just a look I liked. I was not as much a fan of the cremona finish look as I didn't like the tobacco brown much. I did like the reddish black finish of the fern. Again, I was not really aware of the flower pot and cremona being associated with the Loars of the 20s. In the beginning, I was just going by personal taste. I never liked the florida extension and even though Loars had em, they neither made any sense to me structurally nor did I like the look. My Ellis with a very abbreviated extension is the only mandolin I have with even anything like that look and if I could have had Tom make me one with a 45 degree extension I would have. I was first drawn to the mandolin by a friend who came to my picking parties with a number of F5s and an F4. I just loved the look. There was something about the way the curls worked in symmetry that just grabbed me. I actually liked the sound of the F4 more than his F5s, to my friend's great dismay. My point to all this is that I made my choices on taste before I learned the history, and as such my conclusions as to what I like are differernt as a result, I think.