Old vs. new faucets

There's a hardware store in this neighborhood of old homes with mostly old faucets that specializes in repair parts ("ya don't wanna tear out those plaster walls, do ya?") for American Standard, etc. They say that ceramic valves are inferior to the old kind in areas where there is a high mineral content to the water, because it abrades the ceramic. Just wondering if this is true, and if the old style valves are available anywhere in new faucets.
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