> "But the tailor/framebuilder etc.. always have the
> right (and some say the repsonsibility) to decline a
> request from a prospective customer. So whether it's
> preventing a liable suit, or injury, or
> dissatisfaction by the customer, or damage to their
> reputation, it's still in the hands of the maker to
> decide what they will and won't agree to make."

gee. that all sounds well and good...
but there was a time when a custom builder was someone
to whom you'd say, "i want this seat stay cluster, and hearts
in these 2 lugs but a diamond in that one, and a 1 1/2" fork rake
and polychromatic blue trim around the white pearl seat tube.
oh, and please use a mix of reynolds and columbus but with
a head tube from sumgai...", and builders would execute the
order. more than anywhere else, builders in great britain did the
"custom" thing. otoh, italian builders were less likely to vary
from establish aesthetics and proven bicycle designs. i cannot
think of a single "custom" builder from italy.
in today's market, add material choices, joining choices, and
the choice of aftermarket forks, and the menu seems limitless.
i think most of us make made-to-measure frames and not custom
frames. i have been saying that since 1978 - it's not a new
rection just based on today's thread. in our business, the term
"custom" started with the journalists, not the builders.