This point is coming a little late in the discussion, but I believe John Sexton was once Ansel Adams' assistant. So, Alain, suppose you had an assistant of John Sexton's quality doing your printing, and that's what the guy did -- he was a printer. He didn't want to go out and shoot, just wanted to print. You, say, would make a master print, and then Sexton would make 100 or 1,000 more, for your approval and signature. Now, it might detract from YOUR total experience of photography to have John Sexton doing the printing, but would it detract from your clients' experience? (I'll accept either 'yes' or 'no' for an answer; either is totally legitimate.)
I do think handmade stuff has an iconic or totemic value. Most people I know, including the most skeptical, have a few totems around the house, if nothing more than a wedding ring or a lucky hat. (Or a lucky Leica.) Totems do give off a vibe of some kind; that response may be hard-wired into our wet-ware.