I'm interested in knowing who some great modern fiddle builders are and where they are located. Who are the most experienced. (Those that have been in the business say 50 years and have mastered their craft)
Also do any experienced builders have old wood in stock to build fiddles. I read an article where a (believed to be) 450 year old tree was damaged by a storm and subsequently cut down and used to build fiddles.
Just what do you want, and how much do you want to pay? How long do you want to wait? What are your skills? You could go to Sam Zygmuntowicz or David Burgess or any of a number of famous makers if you want to pay tens of thousands of dollars and wait a year or more. You could go to Jonathan Cooper if you want a violin like Mark O'Connor plays. You could go to Anton Krutz in the Kansas City area if you want an excellent professional violin good enough to win a seat on the L A Philharmonic, for $15,000 from stock. There are lots of excellent violins and fiddles available for as little as $5000, or even less, if you know what you want. A lot of old German "maker" violins are very, very good, and serve the needs of even top notch fiddlers very well. FWIW, a lot of professional fiddlers brag to me that "I never paid more than $800 for a fiddle in my life." A friend of mine won the Nashville Master's Championship on a violin he paid $25 for.
So, it all boils down to, exactly what you want, what you want to pay, and what your current skills can take advantage of. If you want a custom fiddle, go for it! Violin/ fiddle makers need to eat, too!