Laura Mays, Professor of fine woodworking, College of the Redwoods writes in her thesis:
"I wondered about the validity of craft, what role it plays in a modern industrialized society, how the long hours involved in making objects in a traditional manner can justify the high cost of the labour involved, whether the final user gains anything by the less industrialized processes involved, or whether in fact it was a self-indulgence on my part that I was asking them to fund."
In the second half of this great TED talk:
Dan Ariely explains his and his collegues research on what has been dubbed "The Ikea Effect" which is a cognititive bias to place a higher value on products they partially create themselves.
I think this is at least part of an answer to Laura's question. I believe the value of understanding and meaning is real and rising in our new knowledge economy. Perhaps we all just love what we understand and when we build something ourselves we understand it more completely. Of course we value it more than the thing that we don't know... After all, I love all my friends I know more than all the friends that I don't know yet.
And I love my chair. Made it myself Yo.