Okay. Your point is well taken. Change that to: "Like '99 and 44/100%' of all good sharpeners..."
I agree with "possible to get the bevels to meet properly" but what is possible is not practical. There are a number of reasons why I believe this to be so.
No actual edge is perfect along its length. Every edge has some width. The narrower and more consistent the width is, the better the edge. "Sharp" is usually defined as somewhere under .003" along the length of the edge. "Very sharp" is probably around .001".
Edges are usually created and restored with a regimen of decreasing sizes of abrasive (grinding, sharpening, polishing) requiring many iterations of contact. The contact, if done by hand, is usually performed with two or three distinctly different types of motions (grinding, sharpening, stropping), at two or more different pressures (firm with pressure from the off hand, firm, light, etc.). Consequently, few hand sharpeners can sharpen every part of the blade evenly. Even using aids like rod-guides, it's nearly impossible to bring every part of the edge to "sharp," i.e., "to meet properly" as you put it, without going beyond "proper" in at least a few places along the edge -- and bringing up a wire.
It is highly impractical to stop after every iteration to inspect the blade under magnification. It is much simpler to go a little beyond "ideal," because a wire is easily detected by feel, and sharpening the wire off is a useful way to approach the practical limits of sharpness. While microscopy and micro-metrics are useful in learning about efficient sharpening, they are not efficient for usual practice. They take too long.
Your description of how a wire is raised, i.e., "going past that point" is established dogma. But, is it true? Let me stress that what you're saying is absolutely right in the sense that it agrees with nearly all of the knife people who have written on the subject from a sharpener's perspective. But [ahem] my understanding of the math, physics and metallurgical aspects, leads me to believe that a wire inevitably forms when using stones for sharpening all but the toughest and thickest blades as the edge of either bevel approaches the ideal sharp point. This is as much a consequence of the bevel face lengthening as the top of the bevel moves up the blade as the bevel face is "sharpened" as of anything else. That's because the "equal and opposite force" on the opposing blade face is concentrated over a smaller area, and this results in bending. Admittedly this is not the common view, take it for what it's worth.
The "glint" method of evaluating an edge is primarily useful (to me anyway) for illuminating (hah!) regions along an edge which are disproportionately dull or waved compared to the rest of the edge. It works well for highlighting (did it again!) areas which need more work, but is of lesser utility than many other tests for determining ultimate sharpness. To name just a few: Razor Edge Systems' (Jim Juranitch) Sharpness Tester; various paper tests, (Murray) Carter three finger test; thumb nail test; back of the hand shaving; thumb drag; and using the blade for the purpose for which it is intended.
I'm sufficiently sanguine about my knife sharpening skills -- which include raising a wire -- that dragging my well educated thumb usually
tells me all I care to know on the way to using the blade, which in turn tells me all I need to know at all. Shaving, "popping," and carving hairs doesn't convey much real information -- especially for culinary knives. That doesn't mean that my arms and the backs of my hands aren't patchy with bald spots. It ought to be abundantly clear that I like farting around with this stuff enough to play with most of the other tests occasionally. Not to mention new and/or other peoples') equipment. If a good test really matters to you, I recommend the Razor Edge Systems Sharpness Tester, it's certainly cheap enough.Testers - Razor Edge Systems
I'm okay, but by no the world's best sharpener. No one mistakes me for Chad or Jim or Murray or Lee (I know you like him) or Dave or ... well, a gazillion other people. If one thing should be clear about my skill level, it is that I'm a student and not a master. Although I'm using very old technology (India stones, Arkansas Stones, carbon steel) my technique continues to change and evolve -- sometimes as a result of new information, and sometimes because my native complacent stubbornness is sufficiently overcome for me to act on something that's been obvious to anyone with a brain for a long time. As you know, I recently started using an adaptation of Juranitch's dry method (published in the fifties) combined with using a dishwasher (thirties tech) to maintain my stones (nineteenth and early twentieth century).
Some skulls are thicker than others,