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Good thoughts, dorian. From looking at the prices on eBay and bricklink (mostly ebay), I deem the 8088 a loser, so I think I'll add it to my non-mint, non-sealed-in-box, well worn and played with LEGO sets. If it shoots up in value, to bad--it will still be worth something, even used (esp. if complete and all that).
As far as SW goes, factors to consider should include the SW "era" - OT, Ep. 1-3, or Clone Wars/Extended. Original Trilogy stuff will have a wider base than Episode 1 to 3, which will also be (much?) wider than Clone Wars, etc. Minifigure selection is huge of course as well.
Personally, I don't think the ARC 170 is going to be a great investment vehicle. There are tons of them available, even despite many sales, discounts, etc. It's a Clone Wars vehicle that did not appear in any of the 6 movies, meaning it is neither iconic nor recognizable, and the minifigure selection is nothing extraordinary. That said, it looks like the total current BL selling price of all 4 minifigures is about $20, so selling them would cover the bulk of your investment, leaving you with a $7 ship (or the parts).
One final note - you got a good price on the set, so nothing to regret there.
Also thank that goofy video professor that convinced millions of soccer moms to sell on eBay...