I understand the point you are trying to make about retipping not being original but if I can get it 95% of the way there
With all my respect, i think it depends of the exact cartridge model.
I’ve owned refurbished cartridges, i wish to believe they are very close to the original, but when i compared them to the original they are not even close. Comparison is the key, we must have two samples to compare A/B in our systems. I did that, not even close (it wasn’t your job, but another popular retipper).
Just think of it like destroying a car engine. Even if you get a replacement engine from the manufacturer and when to the dealership to install it, it will not be the same as original because it won’t fit exactly like original ...
Yes, this is the reason why most of the manufacturers of ultra high-end do not bother with refurbishing or re-tip, they are simply offering a brand new cartridge for 60% of the retail (under their exchange programm via official distributors).
I am not the one who’s ready to pay 60% of retail when it comes to $3-5k cartridge, but for many serious audiophiles it is not a problem at all. My point is that when someone jump to a premium category he must stay there, it will cost a lot, but this is a premium segment (it’s always like that). For "normal" people we have tons of amazing cartridges to choose for $300-1500 (NOS, still sealed, lightly used or even brand new from honest sellers, from grey market sellers etc).
It’s not necessary trying to be super cool buying a Porsche if you can’t even pay for service. This is my point.