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if the former, I'd suggest just looking into a used one that is complete. If it's the latter, the open box is a pretty big hit on value so I would probably pass.
1. Three of the sets I traded are still available.
2. It allowed me to acquire the set without using cash.
3. I remember standing in front of the Carousel at the Lego store in 2009
thinking I would never be able to own it, and then kicking myself for not getting it.
4. I think (hope) I can sell it for the value I traded if I decide not to build it myself.
This will probably turn out to be not such a great deal, but I can live with that for now.
I don't think your end of the deal was bad at all. The market valuation of $1300 was fair for #10196, and that was the value of your combined sets, using MSRP for the ones still in production. If you were able to acquire the sets below MSRP, your side of the trade was that much better.
Since April, the Grand Carousel has appreciated more than #10231 and #4195 combined, so your side has only improved. When all the sets do retire, it's very likely the scale will start to tip towards the other side, but that could be at least a couple years from now.
If your primary interest is as a collector, the fact that it's much easier to re-acquire the group of sets than it is #10196 points to your decision being wise.