First, let me open by saying that I'm a seven stringer, and accordingly biased as hell.
Second, I think first and foremost a "thank you" is in order for ywenty years of forward thinking designs. I have very little desire to own a Jem these days (I am a UV player, however, and a PWH is my go-to), but the impact the guitar line had on the contemproary "shred" guitar - popularizing recessed trems, the "RG/Jem" body shape, neck profiles, the first production seven string, etc - cannot be understated.
Pricing is obviously inappropriate here, as that's Ibanez and not Vai. I will say in passing that a UV is no longer as good a buy new as it used to be, however.
Now, a 777BK is still out of the box one of the best seven strings on the market. We haven't seen a new design in something like 8 or 9 years, but frankly that doesn't bug me - the 777BK is still a classic, elegant, and timeless design that looks just as good at a jazz gig as it does playing death metal.
Would I like to see anything different? Sure I would. I'm a maple fretboard wh0re, but Vai's never really associated himself with that so I figure that's out of the picture. However, he has gone back and forth with basswood and alder in the Jem line in the past, and I personally would be all about an alder UV.
Aside from that, as a seven stringer there's not much I can ask for. The 777BK may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's close enough for enough players that it's been a reasonably popular model. I'd love to see the return of the Lo-Pro Edge, but I suspect Ibanez is really pulling the strings on that one, and it's not in the cards. Locking studs for the Edge Pro, however, would certainly even the playing field. And Vai's not playing his UV's enough these days for me reasonably to ask for an additional production model.
so, pricing aside (which is Ibanez and the plummeting dollar at work) I guess things are pretty much ok in UV-land.
(though I for one would burn puppies for that UV10th prototype, if you're feeling generous, Steve...