>>Ha ! I still have a large bin of india necks, now alot of people want them for their color and wet fly tying..>>
Which is why after I make this post, I'm going to log off and go kill my wife's cat (when he behaves himself, he's my cat too, but not right now..).
I was tying Prince nymphs yesterday and the skinny little creep of a cat (he belongs to my wife, did I mention that?) took off with my dark brown india hen neck that I've had since 1972 and that still had at least 15 or 20 usable feathers on it. I don't know where he stashed it and he isn't talking unless I give him whipped cream out of the can, which he usually barfs right up again anyway.
I probably have 25 or so india necks left from the so-called good old days. Some are quite exceptional for what they are. By this, I mean that some of them have a fair number of feathers that will tie down to an honest #16. I don't use them much any more because as Lloyd noted, the hackle today is so much better. But, like my Dad's old Plott hound when he got too old to run coon any more, I keep them around more in recognition of the service they're rendered in the past than anything they're likely to do in the future.
In any event, for my high volume usages (grizzly, brown, ginger), I buy partial (quarter?) Whiting saddles. I think they are the best balance of economy and quality. I haven't been able to find them in the shade of dark dun I like for BWO's and hackled grannoms out here in the Midwest. But I did stumble across a half a neck in dark dun that was perfect. It was Whiting, but branded as Orvis.
Whoops, gotta go.. Here comes the little creep. Heeeere, kitty kitty....