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the opportunity to have a direct dialog with the person(s) who designed and/or built your frame can be a neat aspect of boutique ownership. getting to know a bit of the personality / ideology behind the creation of your bike is certainly cool.
of course there are potential down sides of buying from small guys - not all have the resources to provide the kind of support a well-stocked & distributed major brand can. and it's a tough industry - i've seen many small co's fold over the years (i've owned bikes from 6 (!) companies that subsequently went out of business).
while there's certainly a few small companies that are doing innovative work that i find compelling - on paper - the measurable benefits are becoming increasingly small (at least for most people needs) these days as bike design appears to have matured to the point where we're converging on a somewhat refined unified standard (in terms of chassis geometry / dynamics).
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