word. there are plenty of things people collect and don't use. however, vinyl has a different kind of functionality than stamps. you can only use stamps once. so i guess that's why people get upset when other people collect vinyl? i don't know.
i also agree with you that measuring the number of turntables is a weak barometer. there's no indication of high correlation there. a better barometer is going to VC (zing).
of course fucking hipsters will do it because they think they're being counterculture or anti-modern or some shit. but when you make limited quantities of anything you ARE giving it an inherent element of collectability that makes it appealing to anyone. however i know that major labels are still pressing records in mass quantities on black so that point can't blanket the market.
anyway, isn't this just a matter of supply and demand? an upward shift in demand drives up prices and supply. and the hipsters who collect and don't listen don't know any better about prices five or 10 years ago.