I like your analogy of looking at what you do through the eyes of another professional. So true, the best accolade is the one coming from your peers. It's all about giving a damn about what you do...no matter the field, laziness doesn't cut it if your sweeping the shop floor or painting a car. I loose respect for the painter that gets pissed off when you offer advice, I know I was and am only to happy to get it when I need or needed it...that's how I learn and learned. The old guy that did it back in the day may not always be right but, he's worth a listen, just like the younger person that may have that revolutionary idea that can alter the way things are done. Especially with water born base coat coming on strong, a totally new method of painting and it brings a whole new challenge to tinting. It's going to be the new generation of painter's that sets themselves apart from the applicator with new ideas, a new way of looking at things. I try not to discount anyone's suggestions...you just never know when you might learn something.
Does the person that accepts the less than adequate paint or body work ever ask questions about the job that they paid for or that they inadvertently paid for through their insurance. The answer is yes...just last month, my neighbor had a front fender and bumper cover replaced...who did he go to for an opinion regarding the quality? He came to me, was it acceptable, not on my watch. Why did he take it to the shop he took it to? The insurance company virtually insisted that he take it there otherwise they couldn't warranty the job. I let my neighbor know that in no way does the insurance company warranty the work, the shop that did the work does and the reason the insurance company recommended that particular shop was because they get a kick back. I also let him know that because it's his car, he has the right to take it to whatever shop he wants, it's his car...that's why he pays insurance.