There are many examples of fine old technology that can be admired for the ingenuity that went into devising non-digital solutions, and that depended on being precisely made.
Slide rules were nice. They were a working tool for just about a century, very roughly 1870 to 1970. There are always some virtues to old technology that are lost when it's supplanted by new--the discipline of keeping the characteristic in your head and never losing track of the order of magnitude, the freedom from the illusion of precision.
They were only mildly status symbols, at least at MIT during the 1960s. There was a certain amount of discussion of the comparative merits of Keuffel & Esser (wood) versus Pickett & Eckel (aluminum), whether it was better to fold the scales at pi or at the square root of ten, and so forth. Plenty of people got by with cheap slide rules. I never heard of any cases of slide rules being stolen.
Keeping them properly lubricated, keeping the scales aligned, keep everything tensioned just right so that the slide and the cursor would move easily when you slide them and then stay put when you stopped pushing was a bear. More than once, people were embarrassed when the slide would actually slip out of the slide rule and clatter on the floor.
When I saw my first HP-35 pocket calculator, $295 IIRC, I said "There, at least, is something that I'd accept in place of a slide rule--if you promised me it would last for decades and never break.
Yes, I feel some nostalgia for slide rules--but let's not exaggerate.
Oh, by the way--that "2 x 2 is 3.96" joke above is wrong. On an exact answer like that, on a well-made slide rule if you put the index of the C scale over 2 on the D scale--and you can get it so that it looks perfect, and the eye has darn good vernier acuity--the 2 on the C scale will be perfectly aligned with the 4 on the D scale. You would read it as "4." You couldn't possibly read it as 3.96, 3.96 is two full scale divisions away from 4.
The problem comes when the answer lies between two scale divisions. For example, 3.98 and 4.00 are two adjacent marks. You would be hard-pressed to tell whether an answer were, say, 3.99 or 3.993.