You know what? I never thought of those images as 1 cm slides 2" from my face. They produced (especially for the time) remarkable stereoscopic 3D images that were way better than looking at just regular photographs.
And part of what makes them remarkable is you are viewing film, not video, so it has a superior picture to I would assume even multi-thousand dollar (military) HMDs, in some
regards, exactly in the sense that a CVS disposable film camera (for a few bucks) can outclass many multi-hundred dollar DSLRs in some
regards. [exposure latitude, shutter lag, LPPH resolution in some cases, lack of video noise, compression artifacts, aliasing noise]
Yes, I actually own
a Viewmaster. They are also a great way to get a first surface
mirror with binocular viewing width, if you smash one open. [The reason I keep one in storage, should I ever need such a thing.]
In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".