I've been stopped by strangers on a number of occasions, asking me about the board I'm carrying. I think it's fairly common for people to take an interest on what others are surfing and equally common for people to share what they know about their own boards or to allow someone to grope a rail or get a close look at an edge. Moreso perhaps with the longboarders and alternative design guys that the high performance shortboard guys, but still common nonetheless.
But yeah and as McDing says, sooner or later you need to step past the looking and planning stage into the doing stage. One lesson that "built-not bought" teaches us is that even funky and imperfect boards can be a lot of fun and teach us new aspects of both building and surfing these boards.