It doesn't happen very often in the world of forums, and internet international sales. I had the chance last night to invite a forum member in, to look at knives, choose a profile in person, then I took him to the shop, and showed him several pieces in various states of completion. We discussed different stainless options, damascus (got to show how it starts, to a finished billet, did a rough grind and test etch while he watched!) In the end he chose a carbon steel for his new suji, he also got to root through my pile of wood, and hand selected a set of scales.
As a maker it is VERY cool to talk with a customer face to face, let them handle knives, see the different options, then see him smile as he realizes he's figured out what he wants. With so many options as far as makers go, and countless possibilities as far as design goes, to have the oppertunity to talk face to face, and help a customer decide on a knife in person, is a rare thing indeed lately.
I just wanted to share this experience, and to let any perspective custom knife customer know, its ok to look up your favorite maker, and ask to "pop" by for a chat. If you can, make an effort to do just that, its something you both will enjoy.