I'm with you! I grew up with lights like the type you're talking about. Much nicer, as well as more durable.
BTW...Do y'all remember using the C-8 style lights, the ones that used small screw-base lamps wired in series (usually about 8 lights to the string, complete with fabric-covered wires)? Probably not quite as miserable an experience trying to chase down a burned out bulb, since there were only eight to test on any one string...unlike 35, 50 or 100 with the miniature sets. After sitting for a while, substituting lamp after lamp, you start thinking that your time is worth something, so into the trash the #$*%&$ string goes...
Almost without exception, a new string will work perfectly while laid out on the floor, then once it goes onto the tree...PPPFTT!!
Regrettably, this is also the season of increased house fires, attributed to overloaded extension cords and receptacles, and staples through the wire insulation
. The fewer of these, so much the better.
Best wishes to each of you for a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2003.