I know what you mean about the new marlins. I was just in the market or a hog busting levergun. I love Marlins, OLDER Marlins. So I went to a local gun show and was lucky enough to randomly stumble onto a rare Model 375 Marlin, in .375win.
Made in 1980 and the quality is great. A friend of mine also has a 336 in 35rem made in 81, the quality is good as well. Not sure exactly when the quality started to fall off but I think it was around the time they came out with the hammer block safety. Some people may disagree though.