It's certainly difficult to find any vintage chisels at 2nd hand stores within 100 miles of my town. The ones we (my son and I) have found were in generally bad shape, chipped and not well maintained; looked like they were used to open paint cans, chisel concrete or other abuses, and found at the bottom of random tool bins. $2 each, and and hour of work would get them into some form of workable condition. Once there, they were pretty good to use for general woodworking. Sadly, I've never found any of the sought-after brands in the wild.
The only modern brand of chisels I've ever bought for my own use are Narex. I started out with their entry-level set, then moved to their premium sets, which I like a lot. I think they're the same metal, but different grinds and handles. Note: I'm not trying to sell people on them, but for as much as they cost, I think they're a good buy, and hold up pretty well to the more expensive brands.
When my son was sharing my shop space with me, and when my bro-in-law wanted to try out woodworking, I bought the Harbor Freight $7 yellow handled chisel sets. They were cheap enough I could give the chisels to them and not feel bad if they dropped them and damaged the cutting edge. And the fact they are rough ground gave them experience honing them, and a sense of accomplishment when they converted a "turd" to a workable tool.
The biggest things I notice when using chisels is the balance, and the weight. A light, easily maneuverable chisel is so nice, especially when chopping and paring dovetails. I've not met a plastic-handled chisel that felt balanced.
I never tried the HF chisels, but I have seen their combination squares and their hand planes. Yuck! I returned them.
I bought one of their hand planes. Because they're so cheap (in all ways that matter), I converted it into a scrub without feeling like I was destroying something of value.