I purchased my AL kit of HMS Victory early in 2019 off of eBay. I paid $600 for it (which is about the average cost that I see).
Overall, I am happy with the kit. I really like the beauty in the different variety of woods. My initial intention was to paint the entire model the battle colors at the time of Trafalgar in 1805. However, I wanted to show some of the wood's patterns and shades. Thus, one side of the hull is left unpainted (which is as the kit was designed) and the other half painted. It's almost been like building 2 models at once. The deck work is also, for the most part, unpainted. It's been interesting thinking of how to blend the painted portion with the unpainted. I wanted the blending to come across as natural as possible regardless of the viewer's perspective.
I also chose to build out the lower gun deck with full carronades versus using a "fake" lower gun deck. This was all done because I wanted to put in lights to all 3 gun decks and transom.
So far, I'm about 1300 hours into the build. I can foresee needing that much time to get through the rest.