Thanks for everybody answering the questions on owning the original books. The comments were interesting. I believe it is safe to say that a determined gamer can still buy a desired edition but some are much harder and expensive than others.
Mike Mearls commented that some are buying up older editions and marking them up. If that so then it may be in a year or two will see a sudden price drop. Or it may be a true trend marking that at as we get older thing get harder to find.
It weird that people noted that 2e seem hard to find.
Next year I will ask if anybody tried to buy an older edition and see how the responses go. While not authoritative by any means it should give a weather eye view of how things are.