"What does everybody think the pinnacle of the vintage lightweight
era might be?"

during the mid 70s, as the 'investment cast' era was being
ushered in, bicycles would begin to lose their soul. under
the guise of new/improved/better/etc., the frame makers
sold the bill that cast pieces advanced the quality of the frame.
in truth, particularly in that era, all that cast lugs, one-piece
brake briges, plug-in dropouts, and other similar parts did
was reduce the handwork involved to produce a finely made
frame. prior to that, it was a thousand little subconscious
decision that occured by each framebuilder every single time
an operation or a sequence was carried out. intuition. experience.
training. it matters not what you call it. it was needed to build
frames then. when the little parts started coming from foundries
and casting houses, most of the decisions regarding interfernce fits,
clearances, aesthetics, etc., were taken out of the hands of the
framebuilders and susequently were made by mold-makers. in time,
all one would need to build a frame would be tubing and torches.
the phenomenom of learning 'how to make frames' versus
'assembling frames' would spell the end of the classic bike as we
CR listmembers define it. it might be easier to state that many feel
that pre-fab, cast pieces are 'imitaion art'. i believe this is so.
anything that can be bought by anyone or used by anyone cannot be
defined as 'classic'. please don't read too much in to this; i'm
not comparing eras nor saying 'us versus them'. i'm just answering
doland's question.