>"As with IC lugs, the instrument will be a very fine piece in the end; but
>still it is not the same thing as a framebuilder starting from a old style
>lug and romancing and refining the lug to it's final exquisite piece."

dear ???,
do you feel similarly about a builder starting with a MODERN IC lugset
and then "romancing and refining the lug to it's final exquisite piece"?
fwiw, there was a time, especially during the early IC lug period, that
i might have agreed with you; first gen castings were too hard and rock
solid and too strong for many applications with thin walled tubes. those
characteristics changed in the early to middle 80s. since then, the metallurgy
has yielded parts that are extremely compatible with artisanal framebuilding.
the (no-longer) newer parts are more precise as well, enabling those who use
them to make a finer frame as well, and leave their mark on the pieces
vis-a-vis the decorations chosen.
when you write, "...but the "hand of the master" is rarely seen in bikes
built with IC lugs", i think kirk's gallery pages refute this.