The fret tarnishing issue is really not a fault on Ibanez. What year is your RG2550Z? They've been discontinued for a little while, and depending on where you got your guitar, it could have been sitting in a warehouse for several months or even more than a year.
Assuming I'm stuck with this one, any tips on how to remove the pickguard nylon cover, and how to get rid of the bits of paper that stick out from below? (What are they supposed to be doing there anyway?)
I'd start with removing the screws and lifting the pickguard to see if you can get the pieces out. BUT, more than likely, what's sticking out is the mirrored paper that the pickguard is backed with. You can remove the pickguard and place it on a hard surface and trim the paper carefully with an exacto knife. That's common on mirrored pickguards.
I don't really even remember if my stock pickguard had the same problem. I changed it out for a black/white/black H-H pickguard quite some time ago.
My RG2550Z also has the "sloppy" paint in the neck screw holes...along with my RG1527 and RG1420F. The reason one side is painted, is because that's all they could do to get that area covered without the getting runs in the finish. If they really concentrated on getting full coverage in the holes, the paint would run like crazy.
I was hoping for *some* perfection. If it's really the standard then it's quite sad.
I have to laugh at this a bit. Perfection is perfection. There are no degrees of perfection. Nor is there such a thing as a little or a lot of perfection.
In the end, you have to realize that you've bought an off-the-shelf, production guitar...not a one-off custom build. Ibanez may not be perfect, but they still make some great guitars.