>"I was wondering, in more detail, what defines an "art builder" or more
>specificially, where does the extra 40 to 60 hours or labor go?..."

i think in the context of bicycle frames as noted here, it (time) goes in
to the exterior workmanship rather than the construction and/or design.
there seems to be a resurgance in lug cutting and reworking thanks
to kirk pacenti's new products. after several decades, builder once
again have a canvass to work with.
seperately, heaping it on (pardon my slang) to the "finish work" of
a frame is only part of the equation - and the other part(s) often are
not discussed: does the frame have a rational geometry? is the rider
properly placed above and between the wheels? will the thing roll
downhill at 58mph? is it just a pretty face? the bounderies for
these issues are betwen the builder and the client.
personally, i wish there was more connection between all these
elements just to ensure that the thing "works"; no sense getting
wet and stickey over 200 fleur de lis' if the rear wheel doesn't fit!
if any of you know about art case pianos, you'd expect that the shmaltzy,
garrish looking thing in the parlor sounded exquisite and would last six lifetimes.
if only these "art builder" made frames could come with the kind
of unseen construction and design features that are part and parcel
of the bad boys on this link.