The older I get, the more I like the feel of a smaller bike too. Not sure how much longer I'm going to want to wrestle the Triumph in tight spaces but I do love the performance and big fuel tank.I'm 66yrs old. I have been riding since 16. I still like the feel of a small bike. When the deluxe came out, it was during the '60s and '70s chopper craze. I never fully liked the way Honda tried to make a chopper looking bike with the CX. I like a forward lean when riding. The deluxe was made to sit you up with high bars and the front end was lifted with drop down triple clamps so I changed that to fit my riding style. The big fluffy saddle wouldn't do with my new position either so that had to go. I ride for a few hours on my CX but I have other bikes that are better for longer rides so its my around town type bike. I would agree, any vehicle, modified you loose some reliability.
I think the reason why there are so many modified CX's is due to the numbers sold. They were very popular after coming out of the 1970's energy crisis. I worked uncrating and assembling bikes at a Honda dealer when I was in high school. Between another guy and myself, we would uncrate 18 bikes a day. They were sold as fast as we could get them to the showroom floor. We assembled a lot of CX's. There are a lot of them still sitting in the back of garages or in sheds. Some are in better shape than others. These things are over 40 years old. They are not all good lookers.