David, this is a very interesting topic. AFAIK, stripping PCBs goes beyond the hobbyist level and sometimes enters the real market.
I know a real case in which a Chinese company sold a lot of low-cost LCD displays that were stripped from the PCB included in obsolete Japanese toys to a company developing products for the domotics market. Of course, I won't tell you the name of the company which bought the displays, but I can assure you that they gave me this information only some months ago -- and they were soooo proud of doing this ;-)
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.