Yes, and the J/80s are now turning 20 years old. When I crewed on an Olson 30 in the Bay in PHRF A2 in the early to mid-90s, we were sailing against some 35-40 footers that were difficult to beat unless conditions allowed us to plane downwind. CBYRA formed a new "sportboat" class for the ultralight and A-sym boats; I am not sure whether it ever caught on.
So what has happened in the last 20 years, other than the prices of new production boats have increased exponentially while performance has not really improved?
A new J24 today will cost you 60k when all is said and done. A J/22 new today will cost you 50k when all is said and done. A new J/70 will cost you 50k when all is said and done. As far as I can tell, new boats are more expensive because they are new, not because of design changes. Design changes occurred because what people wanted changed. You can race a j/70 with 3, a J/22 needs 4. A J/22 requires someone to go up on the foredeck for jibes, a J/70 does not. A j/22 requires a hoist to launch it, or at least a steep ramp, a trailer tongue extension, and a lot of time and patience. A J/70 is easily ramp launched and rigged. Of course, if you want to race with 4 or 5, and you want to have a v-berth because you want to sleep in it once in a while, and you want to keep it in the water, because you hate trailering your boat, then the J/22 makes much more sense.
I paid $2,500 for my J24. I have put another $5,000 into it between new sails, new cushions, new cabin sole, new electronics, etc. I also put a ton of hours into it, sanding off 30 years of accumulated bottom paint while in positions that would make a contortionist cringe, scraping out 30 year old soggy vermiculite, updating deck hardware and rigging, etc. etc. I think I got a great deal, even though my boat will never be competitive on a national or even regional basis. But it is great for what I need and want. If I had bought it to compete at the J/24 Worlds and gone through all that, it would have just been a waste of time and $7,500.
Horses for courses. Some folks buy new boats and have a reason why. Those reasons don't have to match up with yours. Be glad that some people buy new boats, it means some of those golden oldies are available for sale at very reasonable prices.