8 year old Reci tubes are still fine.
I installed a new/old stock 100W Reci in 2018, made in 2011, and its still working at good power today, in a commercial setting.
New Reci, EFR and SPT tubes are far better than ones from 2010 and before. They used to use gum arabic to seal the atmosphere in, which allowed the gas to slowly leach out over time. The design of tubes has changed a lot since then and they no longer lose gas.
Cheap tubes still do, though. They still use gum to seal them. That’s why Reci/EFR/SPT is nearly twice the price of cheap tubes. They’re better.
The most I’ve seen was a commercial cutter in Malaysia that had a 150W Reci with about 12,000 hours - most of it at 80%+ - before I changed it out. They were amazed at how much better it performed, but it was still cutting decent thickness of MDF and acrylic even with 12k hours on it.
There’s not much to change in the way of settings. It’s all about the PSU, mirrors and lens.
I’ve been cutting 9mm ply and 6mm MDF all day today on a 100W Reci - 28mm/s for ply and 26mm/s for MDF at 80%.
I can cut 3mm (1/8") at 55mm/sec @ 80%.
But, I have a 3" lens of good quality which cuts better than the same settings using a 2" lens.