They're tools, in my opinion. They can be absolutely stunning pieces of art, but at the end of the day, if they don't sound good or play comfortably, they're practically useless. That doesn't mean I don't respect and take care of my tools; I want them in perfect working order. But if I'm looking for a sound that I can't quite get from one of my guitars, I have no problem diving in with a soldering iron and changing it to suit my needs. Granted, I'd never modify a rare or vintage guitar, but then again, I would never want to own one. I'd want to play it, and eventually I'd want to mod it, which really defeats the purpose of owning a vintage/rare guitar in the first place. I don't really care about the history of an instrument, outside of a museum; I just want something that I can play and sound how I want it to.