thanks for the thoughts and opinions so far - all stack up & are totally understandable.
Bugloss - Period with lots of Pantographed parts - superb but opens up the cost to the upper echelons of a build - I'd love to own some parts with detailed names enscribed that are of genuine kudos. The wallet simply doesn't open that far
legrandefromage - agreed, I guess in my case I dont own anything that's just there as eye-candy. Your heinz bike is a real mix straight from the alchemists shelf - was that a case of trial & error or did you just know that set-up would work?
Midlife - I think I'm in the 70's then as I'm building with parts I can afford!
Tel - you use a word I hadn't considered - "specialist". That's probably where i'm missing the knowledge. I go for components that I simply like the design of.
NeilM - practicality is definately a plus point, and if you can get it to look right then that seems to be a balanced approach. However, the only things I break is when I can't put something back together. I'm looking at a broken derailleur on the table as I write this!!