Well, we've come full circle!
Fichtenfoo and the FFF inspired me to take the plunge and build my models "right" with putty, airbrush, etc...
Now the new trend is to go "unpainted" like I used to do for over 5 years!!! :o
I built over 40 Gundam kits with just enough paint (applied by brush) to make all the colors right. It's an artform in it's own right, and it is pretty satisfying, until you see an airbrushed version of the same kit with mods and a custom paint job.
This page of my website has highlights from my "no paint" days:http://users.adelphia.net/~funaka/index_files/FT_Collection.html
I have pretty mixed feelings about these kits, and many of them will likely be either rebuilt the "right" way someday (good thing they're snap-together), scrapped for parts for modding purposes, or simply taken off the shelf as I build new models to take their place.
IMO, if possible, go for the airbrush. I tend to look back at my old kits as kind of a waste of time and money that I could have spent biulding models "right".