I don't own a PRS because it's not really my thing, it just doesn't get my juices flowing. That said I've played a few of them and I have friends who own them and they are among the highest quality guitars I've had the chance to play/inspect, they take everything to a level of flawlessness in terms of aesthetics and fit/finish. For sure I think PRS can back up what he says with the quality of his guitars, can't speak for the SE overseas built stuff though as I haven't played any.
I think this is the issue with Gibson, they are charging prices that just don't line up with the quality control and sadly the Japanese Ibanez I see lately are along the same lines. And the other problem is at least in the UK the price hike in the last 10-15 years is astronomical, while a lot of those guitars have moved to cheaper production which is reducing the perceived (or actual) quality at the same time. People don't want to spend £800-1500 on a guitar built in what is considered the "low cost" factory.
I played 3 guitars today, a PRS, a Tom Anderson, and an Ibanez. They were all great guitars. The PRS was a Private Stock Singlecut and the best PRS I have ever played or seen. I am not sure I can explain why it was such a unique guitar to play so I’ll describe it’s appearance: bubbling, golden lava that appeared to flow across the top. I have never seen a quilted maple top like that before and doubt I will again. At $11,000, it was the most expensive of the 3. The Tom Anderson was their Tele model, used, and not the type of guitar I normally want. This guitar impressed me the most because it had none of the features I want/need yet still won me over because it was such a great playing guitar. That is hard to do. At $2200, this was least expensive of the 3.
The Ibanez I played was the purpose of the trip. I did not believe they had a new one in stock. I have never heard of anyone buying this particular model and seriously wondered if Ibanez had made any yet. Well, they have made at least one. I played an Ibanez BWM1BS. This is the Bob Weir signature model. Bob Weir was the other guitarist in The Grateful Dead for anyone who does not know. I had to look it up. This was the first Sugi built guitar I had ever played. If the attention to detail makes the PRS an $11,000 guitar, then the BWM1BS’s $8,000 price tag is equally justifiable. Playability was also equal to the PRS. Where the PRS had it beat was the unique “tonal” aspect I can’t explain. The Anderson impressed me the most but the Ibanez surprised me the most. “Cowboy” guitars are not supposed to be that easy to play.
As beautiful as the PRS was, $11,000 is a lot of money. Then again, so is $8000 and $2200 (used). You are spending your money on very different things between each guitar. The most enlightening thing for me was how good a Sugi built Ibanez can be, especially one I did not think existed.