(check out the funny reply from Microchip too, but then doesn’t help when the PICKit 3 still doesn’t have the PICKit 2’s logic probe and has dropped some support off, of older chips.
Though Microchip has discontinued PICKit 2 production, it’s source, circuit, firmware etc., has all been made open to the public. This has allowed a number of knock offs, clones and enhanced versions. For example from the AU Group, this one:
It’s compatible with the PICKit 2, has more RAM, support for low USB voltage – still delivering +5V even when USB supply drops to +3V.
Or MCUMall’s PICKit 2 compatible:
Then there’s always the DIY PICKit 2, for example:
more to follow…