Buying leaves vs. plants
I've only bought plants in the past, mostly from Violet Barn, Lyndon Lyon, or at local violet shows. That way I get immediate gratification(!!) and get to accurately see the colors of plants. Sometimes I knock plants off my wish list after seeing them in person. Late last fall I decided to order a bunch of leaf sets from 2 reputable dealers. All arrived in great shape.
Some are just starting to bloom, and I am disappointed. I know that reproducing fantasy from leaves isn't a guarantee. But so far, I am not seeing green on the edges of Irish Luck. It has the blue edging, so is still pretty, but not what I'd hoped for. Irish Magic has no green edge and is just a plain dark blue ruffled flower. Once again, not what I wanted. Is a green edge tricky to reproduce from a leaf?
Leaves are inexpensive, but waiting almost a year to find out the plant isn't "as advertised" is annoying.
It is certainly fun to plant leaves and wait for "mouse ears" and there is less risk of bringing in pests.
But I wonder how other people feel when violets that should have fantasy or green edges or other features don't develop as they should. In my experience some like Jean Pierre Croteau reproduce pretty faithfully, and others are almost impossible to reproduce accurately from a leaf. If I fail with a leaf from my own plant, no loss other than time and plant shelf space. But some sellers only offer leaves of certain plants, so that's the only way to get it..unless that's not what you get in the end.
I'm not sure sellers should sell leaves of unstable varieties.