OK, so it started out as a casual conversation between work colleagues and led two weeks later to an impulsive "I know I was going to do it sometime so it might as well be now" moment (see below):
The upshot of it all is that D&D seems to have moved on a lot since my pubescent, hormonal 2nd Edition days (circa 1982 to 1986). The game system seems to emphasis play-ability (to which I think of as back to the "Old Blue" Basic Dungeons and Dragons book) and less on chart heavy play, but very positive in stream-lining (aka guiding) what the players can/could do (aka action types and attribute checks when the players are being "hard of thinking" or "doing something generic" outside of specif actions covered exhaustively in the rules).
All-in-all it has "beer and pretzel" written all over it, with a happy smile. I don't think I will be forking out well over "£100" for the "big set of pretty books" though, but adapt stuff from the "starter set" back into 2nd Edition (famous last words).
Note (see above): An unmade hotel bed and a freshly opened (I can still smell that clean, clear plastic wrapping film) box of 5th Edition D&D "Starter Set", can you think of anything more 'sexy nerdy'? Lenard Cohen "Chelsea Hotel" it is not ;)