>"FWIW, I wasn't dealing with the stamped vs investment debate..."

i referenced the stamped lugs because you mentioned the cast dropouts
and noted, "...More like the ultimate plug and play". i once wanted to
agree with you and your example (below) but after many trips and
visits i can only state that i saw none of the personalization you're
citing. graphics and panto-graphics aside, it was production work,
pure and far as the strawberry example, i think you're right;
folks over here, miles and generations removed from the industry in italy,
were insatiable in their quest to draw inspiration and find styles to copy.