the saying the deepest pockets always wins may be true to some degree but...............
Lets say you give 2 people $50k to spend on a bike build. One persons build may be light years ahead of the other build because they just have the vision and capability of putting together a very nice build. its not as simple as picking a bunch of parts and throwing it on a bike.
I dont really think that shope and jesse james are really even in the same category.
Shope generally builds bolt on baggers. Jessie james builds complete frames, front suspensions, etc etc and hand crafts alot of his parts out of metal.
They really both focus on two different areas and have their own styles. A more suiting competition would be shope and yaffe or something like that. I really think singling out Jesse James who really is not even building bikes anymore and who has never been known for building baggers is just a silly way to get some publicity.
They may or may not be at the same fabrication level but it would be good tv none the less. You can't tell me you wouldn't watch! Something between Shope and yaffee will never happen because I think in general it wouldn't do either of them much good. They are both well respected and I don't think they have much to prove.