A previous poster hoped that the ride qulaity of a 3X hand built wheel will be better than a machine built radial wheel. Well it depends how you define better, the handbuilt wheel may be a better wheel but the ride quality from a radial stiffness point of view there is no difference that an be deteted in term of comfort.
I like both steel and Alu frame to ride ut prefer the look of steel frames unless it's an old Alan.
My comment on the Radial v 3x was only speculative, and merely offered up so that someone my debunk or support it. My personal experience it that I have had better rides from 3x front wheels, but it is not a belief that either is better in terms of comfort. When i first started riding with passion (30 odd years ago) then 3x on steel was the norm. As I have mucked about since then, radial front and aluminium frames have been more common and I tend to find the ride harsher.
This is likely due to the frame properties of course, but it all gets stored the in the "total load of apocryphal bollocks" part of the brain, and whilst I am a reasonably intelligent and rational person, when I am floundering for justification the TLOAB part of the brain starts firing and I become convinced that 3x is comfy, radial is harsh.
This same argument is why I think my steel frame should be forgiving and my aluminium frame punishing, but I find the opposite, and whist I doff my cap to the very rational arguments that one should ignore the material and consider the frame as more than the some of its parts, these days the TLOAB part of my brain muscles itself in more than I would like saying things like:
Fings ain't what they used to be
Mars bars used to be bigger
It's a "marathon", not a "snickers"
Leslie Philips was the finest comic actor of his day
Benny Hill was funny
Steel more comfy than aluminium
3 cross a better ride than Radial
The only way to suppress the TLOAB is with Information (Wisdom, followed by knowledge, followed by testimony). And this thread is doing stirling work in pushing back the darkness (well, my darkness anyway).
As it is, I have to bin my "comfy" aluminium frame as it has a split in the seat tube, so I should have arriving today Andy's old Principia Rex frame so I'll guess by the end of the week I'll know if my appreciation of aluminium is transitory.
And one more thing, I do like the look of skinny steel frames, and that will happen next year when I finally sell my car (weekend exotic plaything that it is).
Thanks all for what has been (and I hope continues to be) a really good discussion