Dont worry, youd learn a lot owning a Vdub!
The red 65 I mentioned was rebuilt by Basit but mush of it is bastardised (excuse the term but it refers to somethings that has a hotchpotch mixture of different yearmodel parts). I think you posted its pic somewhere here. Have seen the car in person too.
I have not seen the 65 converted to 74. Anyway, its a bad idea to buy a converted car in our opinion, people have a right to differ.
No model is good or bad, its your personal choice and what is available in best condition. In my own opinion based on observation, anything pre 66 ie 66 year model included has better build quality.
As far as popularity goes, pre 67 VWs are considered a different, far more desible breed abroad. Here post 68 are considered better with the 74 the best. Thats why you see so many wannabe 74s.
Bottom line is...its your personal choice....