The old doorknobs were significantly easier on the eyes, but in their infinite wisdom the manufacturers decided to make them out of cast iron. Not proper steel. Which meant they were brittle. So they broke. Which is bad.
Bad, because old houses do not come with spare parts. Bad, because just like manufacturers of socks, people who design doorknobs, locks and whatnot get ideas every so many years. This would be okay if they somehow managed a quantum leap in door-technology. Sadly, no such quantum leap is evident from the fossil record.
I am not going to take you on the whole, painful journey of my prompt education on the subject of doorknobs and paraphernalia related to all manner of doorknobbery, but trust me when I say that changing doorknobs in an old house is a source of profound misery. There is simlpy no way you can win.
The new doorknobs look awful.
But they work. I keep telling myself that.