I'm not familiar with the regulations in Chicago-land, so I can't comment on the FOID thing or other such restrictions. Check your local laws.
a C&R to collect old firearms. The main benefits are:
1) You can buy C&R firearms from out-of-state individuals.
2) You can buy C&R firearms through the mail, and have them shipped directly to you.
3) If you go to an out-of-state gun show, you can buy C&R firearms directly from an out-of-state FFL without having to go to their registered place of business to complete the transaction (rifle or shotgun) or being forced to do a transfer through an in-state FFL (handgun).
4) It simplifies the background-check process for C&R firearms. Unless otherwise restricted by state law (check your local regulations), you can simply hand the dealer a signed copy of your C&R FFL and the money and walk out with the gun, rather than having to fill out a Form 4473 and wait for the FFL to make the phone call. (This only
works for C&R guns though.)
5) You get discounts from mail-order houses such as Midway and Brownells on regular everyday gun stuff (ammo, tools, apparel, etc.), not just stuff directly associated with C&R guns. This in itself can pay for the C&R FFL fees in short order.
Regarding #2, you can often save significant amounts of money this way if buying from mail order surplus dealers such as J&G Sales, AIM Surplus, or Classic Arms. The disadvantage is that you obviously don't get a chance to inspect the guns before you buy.
The license is easy and cheap to get, the only problem is the wait. It's short in some areas but not in others. Figure on at least a month.
I don't plan on amassing a huge arsenal of historical weapons, total I envision about a half dozen...
<snicker snicker> heh heh... let me know how that goes. <Runs out the door and busts out laughing>