That's great feedback! I'm completely self taught as there a distinct lack of good teachers where I live (SW Florida). Want to move out here?
I unfortunately have champagne tastes sometimes and I'm a total tech head. Bad combo. I honestly would never consider purchasing a $10K PRS but a $3.5K PRS could happen (nice SC58!). But again it's just that I don't deserve that nice of guitar at my current playing level. Keeping myself honest. I definitely don't need as many guitars as I have either but part of it is just finding my way and finding what I do and don't like. I have a good career and can afford it but I'd rather have a few less expensive guitars than one really expensive guitar. A variety thing. But man do I get GAS sometimes. I swore a month ago I was done. Once the AS153 comes in, I'm definitely done. I swear. I'm going to sell one more guitar so I stay at six. And that'll be painful enough to end any future acquisition syndromes for some time.
I do hear you about the more run of the mill stuff. That's why I purchased the Gibson I did. Could have gotten an R9 or an SC58 but saved a car-full of money getting a players condition 2004 Standard and working on it myself to get it where I'm happy. I see the 305 as more of a working man's PRS too. No fancy top and no over the top price tag. But it's definitely a quality instrument and plays/sounds as such. And it doesn't do the Ibanez thing but I have a few of those to cover that territory! Luckily, I'm not the biggest JEM or RG fan in the world although I keep eyeing some of the neck through models.....
I assume you have been playing for a year to several. It's normal for many to go through lots of guitars, even expensive ones. For most players who have been through that, when you reach a level of a hired studio musician or live player, then what happens is that it's all about if the guitar works for those situations. Before I got serious enough to spend good money on studio time or have to play paid gigs, I collected so much stuff I went through literally sixty guitars in less than a decade. The differences between let's say a Squier tele, to a MIM tele, to a used Am. Std. tele, to a vintage one was really not all that much. They all basically sounded the same, of course with the older ones having a more refined tone, and there was never a big justification for the extra cost.
Once I had a lead I had to put down on a CD before the first 1000 were pressed and I was kind of stressed and my old Gibbys and vintage Fenders didn't get the sound for the song. The band kept on shooting down my solos and even non-musicians didn't like what was coming out of that guitar. After many takes and rehearsals leading up to the final take, I finally put it down with a used $150 dollar Yamaha superstrat and a 10 watt transistor amp. All the expensive stuff just sounded lifeless with that one tune. Keep at least one garage sale type of guitar in your arsenal if you do any serious recording and you will surprised how indispensable that can be.
It's easy for me to say this since I spent way too much time with music and acquiring guitars and I may have little credibility having been a sufferer of severe gear acquisition syndrome. But anyway get in a situation where the pressure is on, like a recording where a lot of other people are depending on you, or a gig where you have to be heard but not blow out the local winos who keep the place going, and little things like flamed maple tops, custom wound pickups, and one of a kind asymetrical neck carves simply give way to, "Does it work for the situation?" I say get by the with least amount of gear, and least expensive options for effects and amps that will work for a situation. Be as mobile as possible and devote energy to getting better literally each day over acquiring the next big thing in cool gear.
The whole experience will either pull you towards being a serious musician or serious collector and there are very, very few who do both well. In a way, you can't serve two masters and the few who do you can count on your hand (Joe Bonamassa, Keith Richards, Kirk Hammett, Nancy Wilson, and a few others). But if you don't plan on remotely getting good, or being useful, and getting the best and most gear is what makes you happy, then by all means do that. My drummer kicks ass on drums but also has close to 30 guitars and that's OK by everybody. You don't want to use him on guitar though, but if collecting guitars is a part of his appreciation for music, and music makes his already great drum playing fun for him, then it's a good thing. While I could use his guitars, I rarely ever do. The best of our limited time is practicing and doing gigs when we do get together.
Your 2004 Standard should suffice with your PRS and there are plenty of advanced players with that, or even something less expensive, and it will get the sounds they want for the work they put it through outside of the bedroom/livingroom.
If you do actually want the pricey stuff like the JEM Evo or a vintage Les Paul, it's worth it to get one and enjoy the collector's side of it, too. Some of the most prolific collectors don't even play, but that would be more common with investment grade pieces kept in vaults.
It almost takes buying a very pricey one even once in one's life to realize there is not that much of a difference, or any real justification paying two or three times more with what "improvement" if any if you get it. If you do have extra funds, you can get the most mileage with two things to get pro:
1) lessons, even if jazz improv class at the local junior college
2) reasonable amp gear
It's pretty hard to think what you can't do if you have your PRS, Les Paul, and either Jem or RG and something like an ENGL, Boogie, Tech 21, Roland JC-120, Vox AC30, or nice Princeton reissue. People sometimes go overboard in that department, too and stack 100 watt Marshall heads all the way to the ceiling and cabs covering a whole wall, but that too won't improve sound where you can get it all with just one of those with a single 4x12" inch cabinet.