"The marketing material said something about antenea being better, but not to worry"
Well, it is a lot easier for a customer to understand that way.
Before that, the quadrifilar antenna was pretty good for better immunity to multipath interference (signals bouncing off unintended places). However, it cost more to build and was subject to breakage. The patch antenna was cheaper and more reliable, but it could not ignore multipath. If you really want immunity from multipath, get yourself a choke ring antenna (it looks like a flying saucer).
"The buttons on the front are beginning to wear out."
Yes, the colored paint on some of my oldest receiver's buttons is gone, so I just have to know what is supposed to be there. Maybe somebody has a good idea for some kind of paint spot that would stick there. Fingernail polish?
I purchased my old GPS12XL in early 1997, and I am going to have to keep using it until I get it paid off!