Re-reading my post, I don't see where I placed the N on any kind of pedestal. I simply pointed out that many were made, and many are still around.
That said, I do love my little 8N. It fits me, and it has done everything I've ever asked it to do, including some fairly rugged work. Admittedly it would not be the machine of choice for a big midwestern grain farmer, though in its early days it may have at least been equal to its competitors. The N obviously had some utility, as evidenced by my original point----there are lots of them still around and being used.