Boy, never heard somebody put it more perfectly when describing the art of gun making.
There really is a lot to be said for the way a designer will address and answer certain problems while trying to achieve his goals, no matter if the gun is a succesful design or not it does not make the design any less interesting to me. Part of the reason why I like semiautos so much is because when you open them up there is a sense that you can tell what the designer was thinking as they made the firearm.
The HK answer to making a delayed blowback action suitable for use with 7.62Nato is certainly a departure away from the way Armalite/Fairchild decided to make a automatic action for the AR10. Quite cool.
Then there are the fine lever action guns of the 1800s, DROOOL.