You're right, they are expensive now, it's legendary status is overtaking it's real time value. When I only mixed through the stereo buss, I put my mix through a Neve 33609 and then my Pultecs.
Now, I use them across my A buss and I tend to have backing vocals, keyboards and some reverbs sending to them.
It is true, pultecs are great in that they offer a natural sounding EQ with an open top end but there are no replacement parts and, in my opinion, they don't sound better with age if left unmaintained. They become dark in sound from the tubes dying and the caps, etc growing old and leaking.