Hey Ernie, this is a great topic! Really one could argue for BOTH sides because it really isn't black and white.
It is true that not everyone is blessed with a shop-like backyard, or even with the means to buy transportation. Not everyone has an in-house CNC machine, or access to a welder, plasma cutter, and all the other tools necessary to lay out a truck. Not everyone has the skill to make visions come true, and for many, staying far, far away from power tools is a good, safe choice. Sometimes, logistics make it impossible to work on your own truck, as you're in the military overseas, in college far from home, or working two jobs to support your family. Sometimes, built not bought just isn't an option.
But I guess my biggest concern for the bought not built guy would be this: WHEN (not if) you have "issues" while representin' your newly done up ride, you better know enough about what you're driving and exactly what kind of setup you have, because now noone is there to figure it out but you and the other cars screaming by. If someone from a shop tosses you the keys and you drive away, doesn't that seem a little concerning? How's the wiring done? Are there any loose ends? What shortcuts were taken? What are the potential problems? That takes way more trust than I have! How can you locate, identify, and fix a problem if all you receive is keys to a custom truck? When you have a problem, you might not know WHY, because someone else made the error, not you. (Not even errors - over time, parts fatigue, fail, and break, so maintenance is always necessary!) But if you were involved, the lightbulb might go on because you'll remember where YOU screwed up. And then you can learn from that mistake. At some point, on the road, the bought not built guy HAS NO OPTION but to become a built not bought guy, due to the nature of air ride systems. So the sake of safety, you better have some wrenches and airline with you and may I suggest a fire extinguisher too! And you better develop an ear for strange sounds and a sense for when a truck is acting squirrelly.
Secondly, with regards to buying half-done trucks, or hack jobs, or unsafe, neglected, trucks, when you take it under your wing and basically rebag the truck, you are building the truck, minus some basic framework. This can be harder than starting from scratch, because you're undoing someone else's mess! This falls under built not bought. No shame in this.
I guess I don't know "what it takes to be a minitrucker" and what "representing to the fullest" means, if it doesn't include workin' on your truck, or a friend's truck, and feelin' the discouragement, frustration, stress, and accomplishment that goes along with that. I don't care about parties and drinking and who knows who and who said what on SSM and what club you belong to! I like trucks, especially the ones that come straight from the backyard and were built with heart.
And as for the guys with finished trucks, sure, show them year after year! If it becomes yesterday's news, who cares? It's not your responsibility to bring "fresh news" to the scene, because it's your truck and who cares if it's old news to person x next to you. Your jobs are to encourage and support others, and to do whatever pleases you regarding your own truck. My truck has "looked the same" for goin' on 8 years. If that's boring for you, I'm really sorry, because however lame it is, it's still TODAY'S news to me and forever will be.
And as for selling trucks to get some cash back to build new a ride, you won't get abundant cash in return for your custom truck, in comparison to the time and money you've put in. Custom trucks and high resale value are terms that just don't go together. Build for the learning experience, not for hopes of any returns. I'd much rather crash my truck into a tree myself than see someone else drive off in it for maybe $3500. But maybe if you buy a truck all done or take it straight to a shop, you wouldn't have that same type of sentiment and attachment.
Alright, someone shoot me some feedback! The good, the bad, the ugly... let's hear it! I'll be the first to admit that I don't take all perspectives into account, and that I may be way off base!