Continuing with the theme of my previous post, here are the top stars, rookies, and other notable cards that I just upgraded in my 1983 Topps set (basically, everything with a BV of $2 up). The reason I have pictures of cards that I upgraded (and not the upgraded cards) is because I scanned these for sale online. Anything with a BV below $2 goes into my "pick" lots. The Topps sets from 1981-1985 are in that in-between price range. They are not priced to give away like the 1987-1992 Topps sets, but they aren't too expensive to purchase in multiples like the pre-1981 Topps sets. Well, 1980 is kinda of in-between too--and so is 1986.
With both sets having a BV between $40-$80, I think that the 1983 Topps set actually brings more value than the 1982 Topps set--if you try to piece it off individually. Sure, the 1982 set has the Ripken ($40)--but then what. It your Ripken card isn't in great shape, then there isn't much to get your money back quickly without selling a bunch of other singles. The 1983 Topps set on the other hand has Gwynn ($25), Sandberg ($20), Boggs ($15), and Ripken ($10). If one or two cards aren't up to par, you can still count on one of the others to help bring back some of your value.
Next up for set upgrades is 1984 Topps, which I'm waiting for to arrive in the mail shortly.