They probably aren't too bad if you just buy them outright instead of leasing them. There's a lot to be said for planes that are paid off. Look at Northwest and the -9s.
I have to fly on one of those next week and have been flying on them since I moved here 15 years ago - don't get me started. When does the "your plane is too old" warning hit in this game? NWA/Delta would be getting it if they were in this game - some of those aircraft have got to be pushing 40.
In any case, I gotta say I'm a fan of the F100 in this environment. Basically a more fuel-efficient DC-9-30 (i.e. 100-seater) with decent operating costs and relatively low fuel consumption (gotta love Rolls Royce!). And I'm learning to like the A320 - i wish the 319 and 318 were out....
And yes, owning is much preferred.