Just some thoughts.
Doing things the hard way just so you can say you did them the hard way without producing an superior product doesn't impress me. A couple of weeks ago I watched a bladesmith hammer out a very nice large gyuto from bar stock in about an hour. I'm guessing he could forge more knives per day that way than Joel can cut out and grind. I also watched him hand forge handle ferrules one at a time. Now that is handmade.
thats just it. were not supposed to be impressed. The average consumer watches his nicely directed short film about how passionate he feels about knife making while standing in a room full of machines and equipment and theyre impressed though. he doesnt care what we knife enthusiasts think ( im guessing here). The $$$ in whats trendy and the appearance of craftsmanshift. The shun and global crowd are easier to prey on
I don't understand how anybody can expect to improve at their craft if they can't handle a little constructive criticism.
I don't think any of us like much "constructive criticism." Ask any married man.
I think Vertigo nailed it. However, I bet his knives actually are better than most out there, even if they don't quite compare with ours.
I think vertigo is correct too. But I also think its unwise to count us out even if he doesn't need us.