Ah, but I'm just a lowly drafter and NOT an extremely talented Architect. Maybe that's part of the discrepancy. I agree it's not the IDEAL project but it's better than average (for me) and it puts food on my table (and that's the main reason I work at all!)
At the risk of offending some people.... I think it's far to easy for Architects/Designers/Whatevers to let their ego balloon. Certainly it doesn't happen to everyone, but I've seen it with alarming frequency. (maybe that has something to do with the "lack" of respect and pay that a lot of Architects complain?). I'll be the first to admit, I'm FAR from the best "designer" in the world (hell, I know a handful of people locally who blow me away). But that's rarely the point. I try to bridge the gap (and it's a HUGE gap) between "spec" houses and "Architect Designed" houses. My projects are better designed than "specs" but not necessarily as nice as some work being done by local Architects. I can look at all my projects once finished and say "I gave the client a good design/product for a great price". I can live with that. Architects tend to complain about the general lack of decent design in the majority of homes but then do nothing to try to fix the problem (instead most lust after doing an amazingly designed, uber-exspensive house). My work certainly won't be studied in schools 200 years from now but I'm OK with that. In the course of this year I (and my assistant) will have drawn up plans used to build 150+ houses across the country. Will they win a bunch of awards? Nope. Do I care? Nope. My goal is just to make each house better than "spec" for a "spec" price. Each client I can enlighten/educate will hopefully retain (to some degree) that desire for good design for the rest of their lives. Hopefully, each succesive owner of one of those homes will have their lives enriched (even marginally).
Nor would anyone (probably) want every job to be so.
Well, I rambled enough (for now). Thanks to everyone for your comments and input.