It is not fair to compare Military, and I will assume Nasa, equipment to consumer electronics. One component in such equipment can cost as much as a digital readout. I based my statement having an electronic background. Components in consumer products are rated for hours and or years before failure. Most are less than 5 years. Another factor I considered before purchasing my Facetron over the Polymetric digital machine was how quick electronic components become obsolete and become unattainable and very hard to find. I believe Jon Rolfe has made that statement for his excellent head. Parts being unattainable. All being said though I would expect that a digital readout will last plenty long enough for most people. But I would expect failure at an earlier date than the older analog machine.
I am old and set in my ways and old folks like me have a tendency to say old is better. I like the appeal of having a digital display vs mechanical though. My newest signal generator and oscilloscope are digital. All I was trying to say is there is nothing wrong with the analog Ultra-tec. My Ultra-tec was made in 1980 and is plenty accurate enough. I do not think accuracy will suffer using a quality made older design over a digital machine.