I've never had anything graded before, never thought much of it either. From a displaying stand point I can understand it and even from a vintage collectible stand point it makes sense.
The thing that gets me is these people who for instance buy all the new LOTR figures as they come out and ship them off to AFA immediately to get graded so that 10 years down the road they'll be worth that much more because it's graded.
No one seems to grasp the fact that figures from the 70's and early 80's are expensive because at that time they were toys. In todays world there are thousands of people stockpiling new figures in hopes that down the road they'll be able to send their kids to college with them. Down the road there will be plenty of figures to go around and the prices will never reach anything amazing. Basic idea of supply and demand, even if 20 years down the road Star Wars gains popularity again the current figures won't be worth anywhere near what the vintage ones are worth now. The supply of mint, carded, graded figures of new lines is way to high.