Re: PLease educate me about Ibanez's bass guitar line
Head over to Talkbass.com. There is a ton of info and as long as you don't troll or ask "which bass is the best for metal" (running joke over there) the people will give you solid advice. Of course there is a level of snobbery with the "Fender is the best evar!" and boutique only camps.
I have been a gigging bass player for a good portion of my life, and currently have a Fender AM STD. Jazz bass that will probably be buried with me. I have owned numerous Ibanez basses and they have all been decent. Still own a 91 EX series that is in pieces waiting for motivation and cash. IMO, a good option would be to scout the CL for a used Soundgear. Good basses, pencil thin necks, and cheap used. As with RG's, the higher the model number the more features it will have.
If you are looking for something cheap with classic tone that is bulletproof, a Squier Vintage Modified P Bass might be worth looking into. Change the pup/wiring, get it set up, and you will have a tone monster. These pop up on my local CL all the time for peanuts. You won't catch me with a Fender guitar (G&L's? Hells yeah!) but they do know how to make a great bass.