Seed companies are now selling modern:heirloom hybrid tomatoes that are pest-resistant and generally easy to grow, while maintaining much of the flavor and general weirdness of old fashioned varieties.
The article quotes some serious gardener/farmers crying foul of the bastardized, not-true-to-seed hybrids, but I'm all for it!
Hybrid heirlooms are a gateway seed to a more engaged relationship with food. Beginner gardeners tend to give up if they don't get some good success right away, but an easy entry into more sophisticated fruits could tempt them to try growing the real thing.
h/t: Plant Breeding Forum listserv, Luigi Guarino