In Japan, outside the big 2 (fender and gibson), the hard rock/metal people are all on ESPs, the punk/rock are on Fernandes. I stinking live in the home of Hoshino and there is like nothing Ibanez anywhere.
The metal crowd was all Ibanez and Jackson/Charvel in the '80s and '90s but now are more likely to sport ESP/LTD with help from Mustaine (back then), Slayer, Anthrax, and Metallica now. The djent crowd is all into ESP, too.
I have seen more Epis with punk crowd and the trusty strat, SG, and Les Paul Junior are also pretty well represented. I don't really see the flamed maple top Les Pauls or higher end Fender strats in that crowd. I have never seen a Fernandes with punk bands here and only Kirk Hammett played his Edna Fernandes a lot in the old days of Metallica before favoring ESP MII superstrats.
Ibanez has lost ground to the more affordable LTD brand and the super affordable, yet great Schechters. For under $700, you often get a Schechter with Prestige series type necks. Also 1000 series LTDs are technically as good as most Ibanez Prestige guitars and have top of the line EMGs, TonePros, and ebony fretboards.
If price was no barrier, then yeah I would get an Ibanez Prestige any day but you can get a great guitar in the more affordable American Standard strat, Gibson Les Paul Studio and Tribute lines, LTD 1000 series guitars, and all Schechters.
The once common MIJ Ibanez has fallen off the map when it comes to a working musician's budget and we have to face it.
I will take a Made in Korea LTD or Schechter with EMGs or Duncans and ebony fretboard and abalone inlays over any Prestige at double the price point. How is a Prestige Z model with EMG 81 going to sound any different than an LTD M-1000 with EMG 81? How is the ebony board and jumbo frets of the Prestige going to be any different than the LTD or Schechter with jumbo frets and equally black ebony fretboard both bought from the same supplier (...likely Taylor Guitars
)? Heck even Fender USA can come up with HSS strat and jumbo frets at half the price of an Ibby Prestige and if it's a FSR one year deal may even offer up that EMG 81, too. Through your Marshall, vintage reissue Fender combo, or even small solid state practice amp, that EMG 81 will sound exactly the same regardless of which of those guitars you put through it. The Prestige will have Edge trem, Fender and LTD the Floyd Rose, but all ebony boarded necks will be on similar contour hard maple neck bolted onto a solid basswood, alder, or ash body. Pots will be full size, wiring the same in quality, and the result will be a fast and heavy sounding metal monster. I think with this knowledge gotten from years of us A/Bing all the gear, the Ibanez Prestige loses out. Anymore, getting an Ibanez Prestige, or similarly priced Anderson is all about bling and bragging rights but not necessarily a better guitar.
However, this is nice but still off my wallet's target even at $600 off: