A couple key sellers who had been liquidating their 7971 stock for the past few years have all run out, that's why the price has started shooting up. Are they really worth $150 each? Hell no, but I wouldn't expect the prices to come down again either. For that much money, you could have something much rarer and more awesome, like a National Union commutator or a very early Sperry klystron that was actually used to find and subsequently kill Nazis. My top for a Nixie tube is about $20, and at that price it better be something pretty special.
On the subject of such things, Tom's Guide just discovered these new things called Nixie tubes, complete with the obligatory 'hey they make clocks' and 'hey they make watches' blog posts, which means that every black-turtleneck-wearing iPhone user on the planet now wants to buy your 7971s, even though they don't really understand what they are.
Wow. That is nice. I should sell mine since I haven't done anything with them yet.
I don't think the item sold. In fact, I believe that the seller ended the auction early. Looking at my auctions, I can see if there is a winner or not. I can also see ended items that don't sell still show 0 bids.
I guess I could post something and then end it to see if that is why it doesn't even show 0 bids, but that is wasting posting money. heh