Honestly, I hope not. I will not pay a penny for artistry, I'm not a romanic in this respect. I hope that sounds right, its not meant to cause offence, art to me is an intangible that I can enjoy for enjoyments sake alone.
Form, function, Physics, mathermatics and material science are all I'm will pay for. I will even say that I personally would prefer a machine ground/polished mirror over anything a human can make, no matter what their name is. Artistry to me is where boutique scopes enter the discussion, they look nicer than they will ever perform and you are expected to pay a premium for them! All because they're hand made.
Machines have dominated the industrial revolution for good reason, they increase the production and the repeatability of the operations that they carry out. Hence when used correctly should improve quality.
Flourite was first use by my favorite company, Takahashi. I believe its been around since the late 60's or early 70's, maybe even eariler? Material science has caught up with this material over the last 30 years since the famous FLP53 glass everyone like to quoteis its replacement, having very similair qualities. If figured correctly.
Finally, German-Hungarian mathematics professor Joseph Petzval in 1840 in Vienna, with technical advice provided by Peter Wilhelm Friedrich von Voigtländer designed the Petzval lens / telescope that we have all come to love whether its a Skywatcher or Tak or another manufacturers version.
I do agree that the topic of coating on mirrors and lenes has improved greatly since WWII. You could start another discussion on this alone.
But there is no black magic here, not anymore. The biggest improvement I would honestly put forward is telescope accessories; reducers, flateners and correctors these used to be limited to high end systems. Now even my Mewlon is a CDK = Corrected Dall-Kirkham.
Takahashi makes hand-figured boutique scopes. All of the better amateur telescopes are hand figured because their market doesn't warrant the materials purity and and manufacturing technology that would be needed to consistently achieve 100nm or better precision via full automation.
Hand figuring is as much art as science. The result depends on the skill and experience of the optician, the time (=cost) the company is willing to allow for the work, and the standards they set. Some companies aim for 1/4 wave, and will settle for 1/2. Some, like AP, won't pass anything less than 1/20th.
There is no perfect optical design because there are no perfect materials. Optical designers have to make tradeoffs, and that is a combination of engineering and art. With the advent of modern materials, coatings, and design software with better physics models, designers have been able to explore new formulas and recast older designs in ways they would not have thought possible 50 years ago.
At any time, there are usually a few companies that are willing to take the risk to push the cutting edge, employing an artistic combination of design tradeoffs around the latest technology, and artisan level quality. Assuming they know what they are doing, they usually earn a reputation for excellence that is discernible to the observer. They also tend to produce scopes in limited numbers because of the effort and expense involved. They learn from their experience, and then come up with improvements. That's why we keep seeing new models and designs appearing.
So back to the topic, there are people who, given an opportunity to buy one of these finely crafted scopes, will do so, even though they already have something that came out of a Synta plant with similar specs, that they are happy with. Sometimes they will buy an antique scope even knowing that it's not as good as their modern one, just out of curiosity to experience what it was like to use a Clark or a Cooke, for example.