Every decade has its cult occupations, the subject of a million daydreams of the "I'm going to tell my boss to shove it and go [become a DJ / start catering / set up a used-book stall on the banks of the Seine]" variety.
Yesterday, in the New York Times, Adam Davidson wrote a piece defending small-scale, craft producers -- whether of pickles or rocketry propulsion housings -- as smart entrepreneurs. He writes:
...As other countries move into mass production, the United States, even in the depths of economic doldrums, has a level of wealth that translates to fewer people willing to do dreary, assembly-line work at extremely low wages. More significant, we're entering an era of hyperspecialization. Huge numbers of middle-class people are now able to make a living specializing in something they enjoy, including creating niche products for other middle-class people who have enough money to indulge in buying things like high-end beef jerky.
Davidson even cites happiness economics (can you think of a more American field of study?), which argues that so many of our basic needs are being met that we can afford to get paid less to do something we like better.