I do remember from 40 years ago the journalistic cliche of the "folksinger with his dusty clothes and battered Martin guitar", and thinking maybe there was a department at Martin whose job was to batter them before sale. Now it seems I am not too far wrong (with a different company, not Martin, but still they are entirely emulating the Martin product, and patting themselves on the head for doing so). And yes, just like the pre-slashed or faded or patched jeans, some reverse snobbery going on here methinks "old/worn=good, new/shiny=bad"). Just fashion, maybe.
Cheers - Tony