Around the Washington, DC area there are 2 banks offering free coin counting machines in their lobby (free to all, even non-customers.)
A penny costs the US Government slightly over a penny to make and deliver to a bank. Some wag suggested that we should follow Hong Kong's lead and go with a paper penny and a dollar coin.
As for the buying power of a dollar, I disagree with Harry's assessment that it is about the same as the quarter was 30-40 years ago. I feel it is more like the dime's buying power. (A quarter is $0.25, a dime is $0.10.)