There's a part of me that wants to go and order a custom-made Vanilla or Independent Fabrications bike, because they're sleek and sexy, and should last forever. But then, what would I actually get for my $5000 that I wouldn't get by just buying a bike off a rack for 1/4 the price?
Things I get:
I get a beautiful bike, probably better looking than anything on a rack in a bike shop.
I get a bike that will last forever
I get to save a couple pounds of weight.
I get to feel like "Hey, my bike is awesome!"
Even though the bike will last forever, technology changes, and I'll want a new bike in a few years anyway, most likely.
The weight issue doesn't really matter to me, I don't race.
I ride the most average sized bike in the world (56cm) so it's not like I really need to worry about custom-fitting a bike.
Do you really get your money's worth from a custom bike, if an off-the-shelf one will fit just fine, or is it all status and indulgence?