The market for better Russian stamps from the Czarist through the Stalin periods is very hot right now. With 142 million people, Russia is the 8th or 9th largest economy in the world, with vast reserves of natural resources and a highly educated population. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has experienced several major economic crises in its transition to capitalism, although annual GDP growth has been strong over the last 5 years, at around 7%. The country is still plagued by corruption and organized crime, making it somewhat reminiscent of America during its "Wild West" and Robber-Baron periods. Nevertheless, the middle class has grown from just 8 million people in 2000 to 55 million in 2006.
I favor all better items of Russia, as I believe it likely that both its economy and stamp collecting population will grow substantially over the next decades.