Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?
Why do they ship guitars without a case? So they can sell you a case as an option, an accessory that has higher margins than the guitar. Ibanez never gave a case away with a guitar for most of it's existence with very rare exception.
Most people seem to have forgotten that the "Golden Era" Ibanez guitars that they wax so poetically about had cases as options. I got into an argument with someone recently who seemed really upset that the RG550 didn't include a case and that the pickups were cheap. I invited them to compare the price of an RG550 to the most recent RG655M (MAP vs MAP). They're not just going to cut $200 off the price for nothing.
By the way, not sure if you've noticed this but the pickups in the 550 are not the same as the V Series that were in the 1570 for years. They appear to be subcontracted to whoever makes the Infinity pickups.