Great stuff. I stumble with words sometimes, whereas you seem to have nailed it. Thanks.Well-stated. I support you 100%. (Well, maybe 90% if the thing's too small for you, but...)
This thing we do, this buying/riding/tuning/fixing bikes thing, it's about a lot of various motivations. Fun, fitness, thrift, profit, thrills, props from online forums, props at the cafe, obtuse political statements, convoluted social experiments, relief for ADHD symptoms, etc. There's a pile of reasons why ppl get into this game, and not all of these reasons will apply to everyone. (I'm into it for fun, ADHD relief, and the occasional compliment for the rare type of person who appreciates the crap I build-- the rest don't apply to me, but I respect cyclists for whom the other factors do apply..)
Duane understands that he'll not make money on this bike, and will probably not get "mad propz" from anyone online. He wants a functional bike with which he can practice bike maintenance/repair and get some rides in. If it's too small (I think it is), he can sell/give it to someone of the appropriate size. He realizes this, he's stated as much, so why are we gonna pile on him about how this particular Nishiki doesn't have butted tubes or forged dropouts?
If he's doing this , who are we to question what his definition of fun might be? If you don't enjoy working on old budget-bikes, that's fine; unless you're a working bike mechanic, you don't have to. I, for one, like to work on crusty cruisers for fun, and i enjoy building a few bikes down at the co-op from time to time. To each his/her own.