"I learned that a properly made up, properly glued joint, using modern glues will exceed the strength of the surrounding wood."
Absolutely correct if it is properly made up and properly glued. But what if...
Yes, if the joints are not proper, they probably won't be strong, much less stronger than the surrounding wood. Thus my proviso: properly made up, properly glued.
Thing is: A skilled craftsman can see
whether or not their craftsmanship is right. (Or should be able to.) But no craftsman can see inside a chunk of solid wood. If he or she really knows their wood, saw the wood in its natural element (as part of the tree), and selected well out of that tree, they can surmise
certain things about the likely properties inside it. But that's as close as they can come.
... I hate blanket staements like laminated wood is always better than solid. It just isn't necessarily so.
I did not say "always better." I said "A properly made laminate is far stronger than a single piece of wood and is more dimensionally stable." Certainly there's disagreement about "far stronger." (I've admitted as much.) But such disagreements assume
a defect-free piece of solid wood. We're back to the point I made above.
BTW I have three years formal training in both boat building and furniture building and currently do most of my work in the latter.
I have nowhere near
the training or experience you do. All my "training" is self-taught from book larnin' and from talking to work-working craftspeople here and there. I certainly have no experience. (Turned out I didn't have the patience for wood-working.) So I bow to your superior training, knowledge and experience.
But I stand by my earlier assertion
. However I will qualify it with it is my understanding