The difference between kits and made sails is, indeed, the equipment needed. With most sail kits, you get no seams, you have to "sew your own". Unless you have an industrial machine, you have to do this sewing by hand. While sewing by hand is fine for repairs, (while the adrenaline is flowing, no less) the elbow grease it would require to complete an entire set without that industrial machine is beyond my comprehension and makes my shoulders hurt just to think of it (having done repairs both on my own and worked for a bit to help out at a friend''s North Sails shop). Was great experience while laid up for a bit, but would not recommend it for someone who was just doing it for fun. Also got a bit of experience in a sail shop in Erie, PA.
I have to agree and say support your local sailmaker.
There is a reason for the cost difference between the made sails and the sail kit - the experience and the time involved.