You sound like an older soul onebohemian.
When I bought my 2011 CBR250R new it was one of the first to hit Honda dealers in my state and ABS models were still another 6 months away. Since I'd had my motorcycle license since 1980 without incident and had owned bigger bikes, I didn't think it was strictly necessary either. Still over the past 10 years of riding my CBR I've found myself in numerous situations where I've WISHED I had ABS, if only as insurance. The added cost of ABS is so slight and the engineering is so reliable now that I don't think any new rider should have to settle for non-ABS in a new or used bike. JMO.