I passed the CCNA in 99, tried to re-do it back in 2013 to get the Cisco Security cert, but the CCENT->CCNA exam is much, much harder than the old CCNA.
It's the only exam I've failed, the time crunch on the simulated command lines are just too much. Unless you're getting lots of on-the-job experience, it's brutal, and the WAN tech is irrelevant for most networking. I know the material, I'm just not fast enough.
It bothers me when people diminish other people's accomplishments, or discount people because of their education and certifications. If you don't have the certs, I know that you have gaps in your basic product knowledge. If you don't have the education, I have to wonder why.
For the AC, I would expect a line on his resume around the education section, FAR below experience saying something like:
Any more prominent, and yeah, it's either an entry-level resume or the guy's not a good candidate. 3Com and Solaris should only be there if the job calls for it. It's niche and the 2 words on your resume to add them aren't worth it. I have lots of useless expired certs too.