Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?
All of the above reasons are why there's a sweet spot for guitar construction if you're a player and want a professional quality instrument at a sensible price.
There is also a reason why players love a particular guitar, it's usually the first proper guitar into which they put the most playing hours because the ergonomics of that instrument will always feel like coming home.
My absolute favourite playing guitars are my 1987 Charvel Model 3 and 1990 RG550, I put a massive amount of playing time into the Charvel and still adore the USA J90C bridge pickup it came with, however the original Edge and 24-fret wizard makes the RG550 a very close second place.
This was the golden era for Japanese guitars in terms of bang-for-your-buck.