I recommend that you not rush into a purchase but wait for the right one to come along.
The very best (IMHO) are the late 1950's-early 1960's VPS models with the 28 brackets and the dowel stick, as well as the three piece maple neck. The "Vega" on the headstock is capital letters and those letters have serifs as well.
The VPS to me went downhill from there. The first was a switch to 24 brackets, then the coordinator rods instead of the dowel. The Vega by Martin models had a script logo and some unfortunate other decoration on the headstock. They are not sought after models.
The Deerings are nice, but they have a one-piece curly neck instead of the 3-piece. The bracket band is also narrower, and the pot is 11" as opposed to the older 10 15/16". The pot is 3-ply as opposed to 5 or 7 on the old Vegas.
If you're in a rush, the Deering will do you fine, with excellent tone. But if you want the absolute best tone, wait for an old VPS to come on the market. Please pass on the Martin model.
: Anyone know of (or have) a Pete Seeger Vega Long Neck banjo for sale? Serious
: buyer. Hope this doesn't violate any rules on this site. Thought I'd seen
: similar posts previously.