So has anyone with a modern SIM tried it in one of those old nokias?
Awwww. You caught me just a little too late. I finally purged my phone collection of the really old stuff just a couple of months ago. The Nokia 5190 is gone. If I recall correctly, it did have trouble using a modern SIM.
The oldest one that I still have to test is the 3100b (no external antenna). It still works fine with my Fido 3G SIM card.
Also, I think that all of my old 2G phones have had problems with using the SIM card's contact list. Any entries with a space in the name get mangled. They are still recogniseable, but out of order. Plus, they might stick that way if you use the old phone to edit or add a contact. The only way that I was able to transfer my contact list to my Android phone was to take advantage of my SE T715a's internal use of some standard database format for contacts, and to manually copy that file and import it to Android. I did not use the SIM card to transfer contacts.