Actually, Santa just brought some parts. As noted in some of the earlier posts, Shimano 105 hubs and Velocity Synergy rims. And some spokes, rim tap, and a new set of cassette cogs.
I also acquired a new tool: a Park Spoke Tension Meter. One of the keys to having a true wheel that will stay true is having even and sufficient spoke tension. Most broken spokes result from duty cycling at the spoke head. When the wheel goes round, the tension goes up and down. This is like bending a paper clip back and forth until it finally breaks. By keeping the spoke tensions high, this duty cycling is greatly reduced. It also makes the wheel a lot more solid. In general, the spoke tension is set by the rim manufacturer's recommendation. In this case, I contacted Velocity and was provided a recommendation of 110 kgf for the front and 120 kgf for the rear.
I did make one small change to the wheels from my orginal plans. On the rear wheel, I went with double-butted 14/15/14 spokes instead of the straight gauge 14. Many reputable wheelbuilders swear by this. They claim that the thinner 15 gauge middle section will flex a bit more on hard impacts and lessen the maximum stress experienced by the spoke head. It cost another $10 for the spoke upgrade, but I decided I would give it a try.
The wheels make the bike look a bit different. The 32 front/36 rear spokes certainly give the bike a more classic (or retro-grouch) look than the 20 spoke bladed Mavic wheels.
Here in southwestern Illinois, temperatures are predicted to get back into the 50's later in the week, so I'm itching to try the new wheels out.
If you're interested in building your own wheels, let me know and I can help get you started. It not as hard as it might seem.