Exactly what is not practical about a custom built rifle?
Now there are alot of guys that flip rifles like hot cakes, for those that buy a rifle, develope a load, get tired of it and sell it in a 6 month period, no I would not recommend a custom rifle
On the other hand, if your someone that really loves fine rifles and plan to keep a rifle as a lifetime investment and pass it down to your children, the full custom rifle
is probably at better choice then a factory rifle.
Remember that a modified factory rifle has VERY LITTLE if any resell value. A full custom made rifle will hold MUCH higher resell value unless its a real odd ball chambering. Also, just because its a full custom rifle does not mean it can not be chambered in a very popular chambering. All in all, my builds have a commerical to wildcat ratio of around 3 commerical chamberings for every 2 wildcat chamberings.
I have sold dozens of used full custom rifles
I have built and depending on barrel wear have always gotten at least 75% of new sale price and that has been for the most worn barrels. The newer barreled custom rifles generally run in the 80-90% resale value. Very little modified Rem 700s will get you that return.
We have to remember that while a full custom rifle may initially cost several times more then a modified factory rifle, you get alot more for your money and if it comes time to rebarrel the rifle, you can replace a world class match barrel, install it and finish it for about the same cost as a factory Rem 700 these days so its a pretty small price to bring your full custom rifle back to 100% new quality.
Are custom rifles for everyone, certainly not. For most people they would be a waste because most hunters, while they think they will, NEVER use them in a way that will make their benefits worthwhile to the shooter. This is why I have my customers provide me with significant information before we decide on a rifle project to serve their needs.
If your smart and design a rifle to fit the needs of the hunter, full custom rifles are every bit as practical as any modified commerical rifle.
Going back to your example with your car that you built up and never used, that is not the fault of the car or the built engine, you simply put alot of money into something that you never used. Hardly makes the 351 impractical. Same way with my Camaro. If I put this money into it and never used it it would not make much sense. I however do use my camaro and GREATLY enjoy every minute I spend with it building it up and driving it. For me the investment is well worth it and 100% practical. For someone like you that would not use it, certainly would not be practical.
In the end, I actually talk around 20-25 potential customers OUT OF A CUSTOM project every year because they tell me thing just like you are and I know they will probably not ever use the rifle to its full potential so I tell them to go buy a factory rifle as they will likely be far happier with a $800 rifle sitting in the closet not being used then a $4000 rifle doing the same thing.
Again, it comes down to the individual. If your truely a serious long range precision shooter and simply want the best of the best, saying a full custom rifle is 100% practical.
You need to make your own decision.
Seems there are alot of these conversations here on LRH these days. Used to be a different group of people here that were all looking to push the limits of precision and ballistic performance. That sadly has changed a bit. Now you hear alot of the "factory rifles will do anything you need to do" arguements and even hear the "There is no need to shoot and hunt past 1000 yard" arguements. Guess thats just the nature of the game when you get a huge increase in membership. The percentage of members that are the true hard core LR hunters drops off significantly.
If you do not think a full custom rifle is worth your money or is impractical, so be it but do not try to convince others that it would be for them as their situation may be completely different then yours and your opinion simply may not apply to them.