I can see where you're coming from with the hipster artisan thing, though it's kind of hard to agree since Grant Petersen is both responsible for the original hardtail steel mountain bike design that many of those old steel bikes called on, and has sort of kept the steel market alive so it could enjoy the modern renaissance it currently is for the past two decades. I think the Tektro R559 long reach caliper brakes, mustache bar, bullmoose bar, and resurgence of 650b wheels for utility bikes are all things he made happen. He's a weird a retrogrouchy dude, but he's always leaned a bit more quirky pioneer than outright hipster.
As for the frame itself, I can't say it's the prettiest steel frame ever. I like it, it's weird, but there are a lot of better ones both knew and old for looks. What there isn't, new or old, is a frame with it's particular specs: touring/MTB strength tubing, ultra-long wheelbase (the chainstays on the 52cm model are 52cm themselves, the longest I've seen from anyone else are 45.5cm), and clearance for 60mm tires (53-54 is the most I've seen with similarly slack geometry), and then the slack geometry of a roadster except with the myriad brazing points for racks of a tourer. There certainly aren't any actual vintage steel frames from the golden era of quality that match those specs, because some of them like the 60mm tire clearance weren't even things then. There are some modern bikes that come close, but aren't quite there in all of those regards as once. Not that for most people it needs to be. I think the niche this fills might maybe just be me, but after a couple years of building and unbuilding various vintage frames and looking at the Soma/Surly/VO all-'rounders this was the first one that came up in my feed and was exactly what I'd been trying to make work on other frames. I don't think I'd recommend it to most people, since for most of what it offers if you don't care about paying more for Riv's custom investment lugs a LHT is just as likely to be a good bike for $200 or more less. But, the LHT and Soma's Saga/Grand Randonneur don't quite get the same fat tires, and a proper fat tire doesn't have quite the same slack touring geomtery I wanted, so, this was a good fit for what I my needs, and I've learned enough from Grant's various writings and only been able to pull off a few rebuilds because of things he brought to the market so I don't mind paying him a little above market this once. Still a bit pricey for what it is, no doubt though. Really was just posting in case there was someone else it spoke to, didn't figure there'd be many though.
TL;DR: Grant Petersen is an odd duck and interesting designer, but a bit too established for too many decades to dismiss as hipster. This is a weird bike with a very specific set of features most won't need and a Surly or Soma would be better, but is certainly something you won't be finding an equivalent to in the vintage section. Probably not for many people at all, just posted in case it spoke to anyone else.