Your prices analogy falls short on a number of issues. If you look at any of the VVSS issues, the price distribution resembles the asymmetric returns of an event-driven hedge fund. In other words, they were only cheap, and then exploded in price, selling for 500-1000% acquisition price. There was never a decline in asset value. And that doesn't include many of the VHTF Acclaim variant covers (published in the later years) most people don't even know about.
Last Point: the 1990s, right? Didn't 90-95% of all comics suffer a meteoric collapse in price, ala tech stocks? If you're upset about valiant prices, and you still have them, use this to sell them and be happy about it. 1991 I was delivering newspapers as an 11 yr. old; my tips weren't great enough for me to be caught in the comic speculative bubble. haha.
vintage stuff held up pretty well, some of it even went up in value.
the big difference is how expensive the valiants were and how low they went. what marvels or images hit triple digits other than maybe ASM 300? NM 87 was what, maybe $50 at its peak? it kills someone to have paid $250 for a Harbinger 1 and maybe it was a $5-$10 book at some point (though, in all honesty, I'm pretty sure it has been a $25+ book for the last 10 years). Sure, paying $5 for Darker Image #1 and it being worth 10 cents later is a bigger % drop, but it hurts less (unless you bought 100 copies of Darker Image #1...). And X-O #1...was that a $100 book (I don't remember)...and I just fished a nice copy out for $3 and those probably were in some $1 and $2 boxes. Nothing went as high and as low as Valiants if you had bought them as back issues at the peak.