Topic: Pre-1980 vs post-1980: How do they compare?

I've sailed several Contessas of varying ages and I do think the later ones have a different 'feel'.  But I would have a very hard time explaining exactly what the difference is or saying which ones are 'better'.

The post-1980 boats - about No. 300 - have more headroom, a skylight, an anchor locker, a lead keel and more finishing touches. They also seem a little sleeker and little more stable.  But it's hard to say whether they are any better or worse.
It's a topic that comes up a lot in my circle, but I have no firm answer. Perhaps other members would be more articulate than me???????