I break Ibanez down into two groups; Pre 1994 and post 1994. Furthering my Ibanez theory, I've always felt that there was something special going on with the guitars that were manufactured up to 1994. There was a magic happening with those instruments that doesn't seem to be there in the later models. I've owned and played several different Jems from various years and stand by this statement. It is however only my opinion.
Now I'm an Ibanez lover and still appreciate their guitars, no matter the year. If given the chance to own a pre 1994, or a post 1994 though, I'd go pre every time.
I am very new to JEMs having just got my first one last month, and my 2nd one eight days later. My first one is an '89 77FP. I was so impressed with it I decided I needed another one! My second is a '00 7VWH. This isn't a knock at the '89, I obviously love it very much. That being said, my 2000 is a much better player. I think the '89 most definitely sounds a bit better, but the '00 is an amazing playing guitar. It's a bit strange this is the case seeing how the necks are nearly identical. I would definitely recommend you try some more later ones. It is possible I just got a freakishly good one, but I have a very good feeling there's plenty more where it came from.
If for some reason I could only keep one though, I'd keep my '89 because it is better sounding, and does have a bit of a "coolness" factor about it. However I would have the finish on the back of the neck sanded off, and I'd refret to medium jumbos to make it feel more like my 2000
Actually I'm not sure of the fret sizes, but the frets on my '89 feel gargantuan compared to my '00. I'd be surprised if both have the same size. Neither have any apparent fret wear, and I believe neither had a refret. Well I'm sure the 7VWH hasn't. It's absolutely mint, and I don't believe it's been played very much (if at all).
Actually I don't know which I would keep. I hope I never have to find out. Now I'm thinking I would keep the 7VWH. It still sounds really great and it is the guitar I go to more often.