Well said. Comparing my two daily riders, a Rivendell and a Singer, the difference is obvious. Yes, the Singer is unbelievably clean - a truly great brazing job. All lugs are totally symmetrical, because they were cast that way.
Then take the Singer: A few of the lugs aren't quite perfectly symmetrical. The difference is slight, but it is obvious that somebody carved these out of a blank, or maybe even made the lug from two pieces of tubing welded together. Then built them up to a nice radius. Most of the work was done where modern builders start. The bike speaks to me because I know Roland Csuka (whom I unfortunately never met) did this. Of course, the Singer is much cleaner than some Cinellis, but the evidence of handwork remains.
Maybe it is like comparing a photography to a painting - the photo always will be sharper, crisper, yet worth less in many cases.
Which brings me to my question: Who beyond Singer is making "rough" frames today. By that I mean hand-carved lugs, or even better, not-investment cast lugs, etc.
And Brian, what is your take on fillet-brazing?
Jan Heine, Seattle