I very much prefer the "last" of an era vs the "first". Everything just works, the kinks have been ironed out and it feels great having the latest and greatest. I do get the appeal of using the "first" of something, but it's not for me.
My experience was actually radically different. I've tried building a late 486 with a VLB, but it turned out really complicated and buggy — a real disappointment. It's hard to find a good motherboard, there is not enough documentation, and so on. However, I do realise that 486DX2@66 would not give me so many problems.
My Pentium 60, in comparison, actually turned out to be the "just works" solution. Sure, it has quirks (like weird PS/2 headers or the fact that P-60 runs really hot), but you get:
- next to zero jumper setup;
- full support for EDO RAM;
- all the documentation and BIOS updates you need. Yes, I'm using Intel's own Batman motherboard (and they still host everything on their site), but I hear that it was one of the most popular OEM boards for Socket 4 anyhow.
Now, when it comes to performance:
- yes, there are some games that need faster FPU or Pentium specifically — namely, Quake;
- however, there are games that will actually run faster on a DX4. For example, Duke Nukem 3D and other Build-based games actually favour higher clock.
- for either of those games a Socket 7 would absolutely give you a much better experience.
So, I'd vote for P60 over a DX4 just based on the ease of use and stability.