I just picked up my second one. I'e been a long time Jackson /charvel guy. the only Ibbys I've every played were the 7 strings (7620's, Rg7CT,8527DBK) I kept hearing about how
"shreddable" the original 550's were so I decided to try one. I love em, with pickup replacements they are killer guitars for a very reasonable price.
mine (the Coral mist just arrived today)
Ooooooooo, Coral Mist! LOVE that color.
I have one just like it.
1990 model. Not original electronics though. Even the pots are aftermarket (I got it used) but it has a P.A.F. Pro in the neck, and a Super Distortion in the bridge. Sounds AMAZING!
To answer the OP: the RG 550 (the originals) have been around a long time, you mostly see them used and in 'player' condition, meaning, well worn.
They feel amazing with their original Wizard necks, especially if you have small hands, and since, from what I understand, the body woods and finishes are pretty 'neutral' when it comes to tone, you can really shape them to sound exactly how you want them to sound with the right pickups.
I think the closest thing to an RG 550 that Ibanez makes now is the RG655.
The fretboard is wider than the original Wizards, but they are very similar guitars and they come with Dimarzios instead of the Ibanez pickups, and a rosewood board, where most, but not all, RG550s have maple.
Okay seasoned Ibanez vets, how did I do?
I'm no expert....