Originally Posted by Jeffy
I wouldn't write off GC. Keep in mind that some brands require the store to have a fairly large stock on hand which a mom & pop can't always do. Those brands will also void their warranty if you don't buy them through authorized dealers.
Honestly, I have no problems going into a GC with all the other people. I end up walking into the Platinum room wich is usually empty anyway. That's where they keep their more expensive guitars. If anyone's in there a sales person will quickly appear out of nowhere.
You can usually get 10-15% off if you ask for it as well. I'd get one sealed though. The ones they have hanging out front get handled a lot.
If I was buying an electric, I'd probably get a Squier Telecaster Classic Vibe Custom and a Blues Junior III tube amp. Or maybe a Gibson Les Paul Junior, Special or a Studio and the same amp. Would be really nice for blues/rock and a solid setup. I recommend not going cheap on the amp as that's another part of the voice of the guitar. A steril amp will make even a good guitar sound bad.
I've thought about getting a Casino but I think I'd want a ES-335 or maybe the smaller ES-339 for some rockabilly action. I keep dumping money into my Les Paul though. I'm thinking about changing the Tone-pro's bridge and tail piece with a Callaham.
Just about a year ago I was shopping for my birthday present.
I had settled on trading in my 4 year old LP standard for a 58 Re-issue (R58). The biggest GC in the area had a huge LP sale that weekend so I went over there. They had scads of 58/59/60 re-issues but they were floor models that had been pawed and neglected for a few years. AND most did not come with certificates and/or OHSC. The best price for a 58 was $2995. I went to my local GC and got a 58 for $2495 and a decent trade in for my guitar. The salesperson at that GC told me the other store was famous for "losing" stuff in their warehouse. How can you lose a case??????