- I replied to you earlier, but the post seems to have been eaten by the forum -
On these guitars we use Aquila Nylgut strings - a good compromise getting a gut-like sound without the hassle and expense of real gut-strings. If you want to compare - i recorded the Sor Etudes op.44 on youtube with real gut, op.35 (same location, mic etc.) with Nylgut.
As for romantic style guitars: I don't know the situation in the US, here in Germany most luthiers i know have some older guitars (usually in various states of reconstruction) in their workshop. As these guitars were built well into the 1930's there are often some older models that are really not that expensive to buy. Even guitars from early 19th century are comparable in price to a new luthier build.
Karl Schandl - Wiener Modell - 1927
Richard Jacob (Weißgerber) Nr. 32.8./4 - 1935
Michael Gee - Hauser style no.2 - 1990