I was a mechanical engineer in a past life........True, only steel can be heat treated.
Cold bending causes stress cracks - prove it to me. Steel can be PROPERLY heat treated in a home shop - prove that one, too. Show me some real life Rockwell figures.
You fail to mention there are different grades and types of steel, some of which will heat treat very well and some of which will not. It you start with one that will not, it will always be easily bendable.
Assuming hot bending is more desireable, and that's NOT my assumption, but yours, it is only desireable IF the R/Cer can PROPERLY re-heat treat the metal.
I've cold bent landing gear for many years and never had a failure or unusual bending upon hard landings. I only use wire from K&S, I assume they know what they're doing. Of course, you can't just stick it in a vice and pound on it with a 5 pound sledge. There are protocols and proper procedures that should be followed.
Now that I've been arguing with a wall in this thread - I'm shut. [sm=47_47.gif]