Silver Age Dragon article as almost any I can imagine.
As to the content of the article itself, I can't deny that it's rather well done. Dobson is to be admired for his intestinal fortitude in providing a comprehensive accounting of all of AD&D's material spell components, including their costs, where they might be obtained, and their rarity. He then uses this information to provide the referee with the likelihood that various locales might have the components for which one is searching. There's a base chance, modified by rarity, the size of the locale in which one is searching, and other factors. It's actually a fairly easy system to use if you have the article handy, but one wonders why anyone would bother -- at least I do (and did).
I want to be clear here: I don't begrudge anyone who finds dealing with such minutiae to be fun in their campaigns. Everyone has a slightly different notion of how much detail is "too much" and how much is "not enough." There's no single path to Verisimilitude. And I think, ultimately, that's my biggest beef with articles like this. They're part of a trend that D&D -- and RPGs generally -- adopted in the mid-80s that equated more detail with "better gaming." I don't deny that I've often indulged in more detail when I happened to like the topic in question, but material components have never been one of those topics.
They still aren't.