Jon Johnson certainly remembers those days. The chief market strategist of StockSplits.net, Johnson founded the subscription service that informs investors when a stock split is likely to be announced or has just been announced.
"When we founded StockSplits.net in late 1998, a stock would start to split and it would go nuts—or in anticipation of a split, it would go nuts," Johnson said. "These companies like Dell would split their stock rapidly and it would just appreciate right back up. They would say, 'Hey, that's free money!'"
Indeed, from October 1995 to March 1999, Dell executed an incredible six 2-for-1 splits, including two in 1998 alone.
Times have since changed. And Johnson blames the demise of the excitable retail investor.
"The stock market isn't talked about like it used to be. You used to go to a cocktail party, and it was like, 'You see this stock, you see that stock?' It's not that way anymore," Johnson lamented. "There are still retail investors, but they're the hard-core guys, and stock splits don't impact them the same way."
"Retail investors are older, and they are certainly savvier now," Colas agreed. "They understand that the number of digits in a stock price does not indicate anything about the value of a company."
But something else has changed. The investment landscape has gotten friendlier to retail investors.
"The current market structure does allow retail investors to get very efficient execution in high-priced stocks in odd lots," Colas said.
And while high-priced stocks used to be a retail options trader's nightmare, given that each options contract covers 100 shares, new mini options (currently offered on Google, Apple and a few other stocks) allow individuals to trade options controlling just 10 shares each.
"In the high dollar stocks, mini options are the best way for participants to play and not outsize themselves," Khouw said. "The market has evolved."
(Watch: Mini Options Start Trading Next Week)
With investors losing both their taste and much of their need for stock splits, such events shouldn't be expected to become commonplace again anytime soon.
"It kind of fell out of vogue," Johnson said. "Now you've just got a different mindset in the market."