Although I certainly loves me some '80s nostalgia, I have to admit I largely agree with the author of this article at Acculturated.com. I'm a little bored with yet another revisitation of the cheese-heavy kerr-rapp end of the musical spectrum.
The author points out some of his preferred releases from a particular year of the 1980s, but you could pick several others and find yourself digging into some pretty brilliant and distinctively different-sounding tunes. The idea that the most important artists of the decade spent more on mousse than on music lessons does not reflect the reality of the years I remember.
I freely confess I often enjoy listening to some of the cheese the article writer slags. I even have an iPod playlist labeled "Cheesy Tunes." But looking at that stuff as a window on a particular time? Nope. Not happening.
Now, I imagine folks from every decade of the rock era can get a little tweaked by how people latch on to some of the sillier or more superficial aspects of the popular culture. My folks did their 20s during the 1950s, and my dad cannot understand why an oldies station would play Bill Haley or Pat Boone instead of Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis or Fats Domino. That, of course, was back when oldies stations played music from the 1950s, which they don't anymore.
I'm sure that people who were youthful during the 1960s wonder at the attention paid to the Monkees, and so forth and so on. I've no real answer as to why the cheesiest and shallowest parts of a pop-culture era's output draw so much of the attention, unless that the cheese and shallownes transcend the calendar, and the easiest way to give a cheesy and shallow production some new twist is by appropriating older cheese.
Of course, old cheese sometimes smells, so you might run into some problems.