I do not know what part of the country you are in but my advice to anyone who will listen is don't bother chasing down the WWII or WWI stuff. The amount of WWI and WWII is so limited now and the prices, as you have stated, are constantly on the rise, so whey not collect current, ie post-WWII militaria?
There are some wonderful things from the current era that are a joy to collect for the reasons that many of the items are inexpensive, plentiful and best of all, few people have the foresight to collect it. With a financial outlay that is well below the WWI and WWII material, it is easy and fun to put together a collection of current items that is unique and just as eye-catching as the WWI and WWII stuff.
I agree 100% with you Ed. I have my WWII badges and a pretty good selection of the more modern Enameled badges. The enameled ones certainly are very colourfull and pretty. Cost and availability wise, my WWII collection is about as complete as it will get I'm afraid.
For sure, the enamel post-1970ish badges are very nice and surprisingly some are now quite rare. It is even possible to collect them by manufacturer. I was fortunate to be given my Father's badge collection that he picked up in the 1950s, so it contained a good cross section of both the KC and QC badges that were used up to unification.