That thread that Brio linked you to is very helpful. I understand how the gel from that era could be off-putting. I still can't use any type of Dep gel because it just reminds me too much of bad hair days!
Overall though, gel is my best friend and I love the way it makes my hair look. If you are looking for people to encourage you to buy more products, then you have come to the right place. We're all just a bunch of enablers .