Also, tools and technology weren't crappy back then. Many boutique builders nowadays still use the same tools that they had in the 50's (and even some older ones, I've seen a repair shop with a band saw that was 80 years old!). The truss rods haven't changed much, passive pickups haven't changed much (and there's a market for pu with the exact same specs that they came with 40 years ago), frets are the same, woods, finish (nitro is the new rage), etc. Pretty much all was available in the 50's to produce the very same instruments that are put out by custom shops nowadays, barring carbon fiber innovations. BTW, only the very outmost mass produced instruments use newer technology (laser cutting for example). Yet, boutique instruments, built by hand with simple tools, still fetch more bucks than the robot designed/assembled/built instruments.