Thomas, I agree that nice tools are a pleasure to work with.
As to the fishing rod you pine for Clive, as an art piece a $1500 fly rod might make sense.
There are other good reasons too. One of my co-workers has a son who is in the fly fishing guide business who picked up one of these rods this summer. It provides two things that his old rod didn't, 1-he can catch more high dollar client trips because of the magic bullet BS brag line he can spin around it and 2-he gets bigger tips from clients & favors from the shops he refers his clients to.
A bit like the wedding, portrait, and commercial photographers who shoot Hasselblad to impress the clients, or at least they used to.