Tai, I respect your work and knowledge, and I do consider your knives true works of art that I can only dream of coming close to the same level of skill. I will agree back when the only way to heat treat was by watching the color to determine when to quench, and before knowledge of quenchants came to be - then I do think we could call heat treating "art", because two different folks could follow as close as possible the same directions using steel from the same chunk, and still have different results. Then, as with any artist, it took years of knowledge and experience to be good at heat treating and consistently produce good blades.
Today, with all the knowledge and equip we have, With no real experience, I can take a chunk of steel (say Sandvik 12C27) that has been shaped to some blade shape, put steel in an electric oven, program desired temperature for length of time, clamp blade between to aluminum plates, bake in oven for spec'd temp and time - end result will be will be a very good blade that would be very close to spec'd results for this steel. When results can be consistently be duplicated by the use of instruments, it's no longer "art" but "science".
None of the above says that factory specs for heat treating can't be improved on to produce a better blade, BUT - anyone can take the better method and reproduce same results by use of modern instruments. I am certainly open to someone showing how these results can not be reproduced.
This has been a very good discussion that has remained civil - and I do hope to learn LOTS more from this group.