Re: Iron Label vs. Prestige
Well, I am not totally anti-Indo. I've just seen a lot of reports of bad fret ends and such on the indos, tool marks and things as well. I mean I had an RG350EXZ (Standard RG Indo) and it played just fine and I find myself sometimes missing it (mostly because of the slightly thicker neck profile). I've played first generation Iron labels and I wasn't entirely convinced of the necessity for them.
I wouldn't say premiums or Iron labels are necessarily that different in QC as they come out of the exact same factory in Indonesia. Hit and miss, although Rich and others have said things have gotten better the past year or two. I've heard of prestiges and even high end stuff having problems as well, but the MIJ stuff is typically safer in QC overall. I would say though that if you get a good Indo, keep it and play the heck out of it. Make sure that you go into a store and REALLY play the heck out of both the prestige AND the Indo and decide for yourself which is the better way to go. I grew up believing MIJ is top notch quality so I typically choose MIJ over anything (even made in USA, proven by the fact I have 6 MIJ guitars and 2 MIUSA). That's just me though.