To me, fine art is the intent. As Alfred Stieglitz says, "Everything in the image is considered - Nothing overlooked". If someone went out and shot a bunch of photos for the day and came home to pick the best images of the batch and made prints of it (regardless if hand-printed or not), I would not consider that fine art. To me, fine art is being able to see the final print from which you stand and acting upon it by applying your knowledge in photography to render the desired outcome. Arriving at the values that you want on the negative and being able to render them flawlessly onto paper.
I've expressed to Kevin (kjsphoto) during my visit, that a photographer is only as good as what he or she knows of as good. Take a fresh photographer for example. Typically known to read Popular Photography and Outdoor Photography. What's the first thing that will happen? The gentleman will go out and photograph these landscapes and flowers to mimic that of what he "knows" as good. On the other hand, you have, say, John Sexton. He's worked with Ansel and has been exposed to a broad range of fine B&W prints and therefore he has a heightened sensitivity of what great is. A lot of photographers will argue that it is subjective and that a fine print is ultimately when the photographer himself is satisfied with what he has created. This is quite false. That is acceptance, up to one's knowledge, not fine art. There are criterias in what defines fine art just as there are criterias to what defines class. I find it unfortunate that there are people out there that defines fine art as snobbery when it is merely a criteria that photographers put upon themselves to excel and in accepting no compromises. Although the transference of one's creation must be sincere otherwise the photographer is only being dishonest to himself.
note: the criterias in which I speak of is not defined by me or anyone else, but in images that we still love today. Images that have stood the test of time.