Re: About sopranos...
Actually, I've heard a number of comments about the Mark VI sopranos, usually in the negative. Apparently, their keywork design was nowhere near as good as on the Mark VI tenors and altos. It was like the instrument was a 1930's holdover even when production stopped in 1980, according to what I've heard.
Don't take that as gospel fact as I have basically passed you heresay. I've never seen a VI sop, but perhaps the moral of this story is that you should find a soprano that you *truley* like, and not settle for a horn because of it's nameplate.
That said, I've heard that a lot of soprano players are quite satisfied by the Antigua Winds 586 and 590 series. Brand new, they can be had for about $1000