As you are aware, the whole handmade thing gets argued in all mediums. Among jewelers, the casters will argue that if we pour an ingot to roll out a sheet or pull wire to hand build a ring is just as much "casting" as them pouring a ring into a fully finished wax mold. But, just as with pipemakers there's a difference in the amount of direct contact with the work. Nording telling me that hiring someone to sand and stain a box of stummels made in another factory is "handmade" is not nearly as much direct contact as someone holding a chisel and manipulating the cuts on the briar, and then handling the work all the way to the stain and filing out the button. But, you can't even buy a pipe by a beginner with a 80 year old lathe in the garage for as cheap as a production line Nording.Frankly, I think the problem lies in using the term "handmade" as both a descriptive and a determinant. Machinery has been used in the making of pipes for well over 150 years from lesser to greater degree.
Lathes have evolved. Some are just motors and bearings, others nowadays can cut fully finished swiss precision watch cases in styrofoam or balsa wood or whatever material you want, without the craftsman even touching a tool. There's even a a difference between a drillpress-like lathe and slot a peg fraser (fraiser? I always see it spelled both ways). For me, it's all about how much tool handling the craftsman uses before he can deem it handmade. But, those lines get blurry sometimes in these discussions. We always seem to get more pictures of pipe production on ancient old lathes. Just finding pictures of early 1900's frasing machines requires a lot of digging. Craftsmen or more specifically factories tend not to take lots of pictures of their latest technologies.