elcid your opinion is valid. But is just that a opinion. We all have em.
But expensive doesnt always mean better. Especially in guitarland
theres a huge markup in these instruments and you know this.
Key things in expensive instruments versus cheap.
Not so much wood as most would like to believe.
Pickups possibly there is some pickups that are in low end also in companys high end.
Finish: here is a big one.. Finishes on $200 vs $1000+ no question
Hardware: Subjective. The same bridge on my $1000 Carvin is the same exact bridge that comes stock on the OLP. Your standard fixed bridge, same as some of the Ibanez's, Fenders, etc etc. Floating trems on the other hand is a different story. Stop tail pieces ala Gibson, subjective
Setup: Huge difference here, most of the cheapos are not setup at all.. Nuts need fixed, truss rods adjusted, some frets filed, etc. But hey I like doing that stuff so no biggie to me.
Playability: Subjective at best. Sometimes the its expensive its got to feel good thing comes into play. I have played my fair share of cheapos and that felt fricking fantastic. I have played $5000 Gibsons that were like playing a Louisville Slugger.
Electronics: Higher end will have better electronics but nothing to justify the price difference. One call to Stew-Mac and $30 later im up to par.
Who do you thinks pays for these marketing ads in the magazines? do you honestly think the company does? Who pays for the endorsees guitars? guess again not the company.
Again opinions we all have em, no right no wrong, just what works out best for you personally and what your wallet can afford.
I cant afford a PRS so I bought the cheapo Ibanez Arch and modded it $320 and a few hours of setup and its a player and a half.. And my bank account wasnt affected in the least bit.