Re: Why are the Premium models better looking than the Prestige?
I'm curious exactly what it is you're expecting/looking for? You don't want black, blue, white, or any "embarrassing 80's neons". You do like the quilt/flame tops but don't want a cheap veneer. But you don't want to pay J-custom prices. Well, what other guitar manufacturers are selling high end true quilt top / flame top guitars for around $1k? Ernie Ball, EVH, Fender, Gibson, Suhr, PRS, even Carvin all sell such guitars for around $3k +/-... Pretty close to what Iby wants for a J-custom.
Don't get me wrong, I love those rich colored figured tops too! But it sounds like you're wanting a really high end guitar for a mid-range price. That's fine, we would all like the best for not a lot of $$ but I don't see how your grievance against Ibanez specifically holds much water... If you want a top-end guitar made from top-end materials that isn't a "fake" (i.e. veneer, and/or made in a satellite factory such as Indo or Korea), you're going to pay more than $1k. Plain and simple.
If you have a really specific idea for what you want, rather than bitch at Ibanez about it, maybe you should just have a custom done to your specs? There are plenty of custom shops around that can either refinish your existing RG or custom make you one to virtually exact Ibanez specs for between $1-2k.