This is kind of a chicken and egg problem.
For someone to come years later and wonder about this, the coin must be alive still. This means there must not have been any moment in its history where the vast majority of people thought there was no point mining this coin. This is the reason why there is more incentive given to early miners to support the coin, since it has not proven itself yet, and so it is seen as very risky to mine this coin and hold it.
Moreover, the percentage of coins already issued at a given moment is only a factor if you're going to be mining (note: I'm not talking about the relative holdings of different people, just the percentage of issued coins, these are very different things to consider). If you're not going to mine, but are considering buying instead, then the price/market cap is much more salient.
Additionally, whether people have profited or lost in the past should have no bearing on whether a coin is good to buy and/or mine, all other things being equal.
Note: the things I said above are what I said, and nothing more. For example, "whether people have profited or lost in the past should have no bearing..." does NOT mean that the particular circumstances in which this may have happened should not have bearing. Just make sure I an not misundedrood :)