Well I have fond memories of HST's, 313's and the Flying Scotsman but never got to see an A4 (not Gresley because of the lack of valences). I just love those massive GCR loco's not too long before grouping, a bit like the NE ones but IMO more elegant.
Sorry, not sure what you mean by 'not Gresley'. Many, and possibly all of the Gresley A4s were built with valences, but these were later removed, presumably to ease maintenance and servicing.
Correct, they all were. Sir Nige never had them put back on post-preservation bit Mallard, Bittern and I think one other got the valences back. A personal preference, and I'd like to see one preserved in silver and grey.