I totaly agree bro, my dad left me all the guitar's he got from the 70's to 2002, he kept the 60's, i like all the 80's to 90's models, they have some real magic mojo to em!
i feel so lucky to be playing them, my dad plays the guitar's he made now & he don't like brand name's any more, he don't see any point in guitars not made by him? don't know why?
i think it has alot to do with his age & the love of crafting a guitar by hand,- i can't argue with that, he knows better then most.
Only thing I'm complaining about nowdays guitar's is that guitar makers seem to make less and less guitars with Floyd Roses except Ibanez. I really like those Floyd Rose super Strats. I think the best era was early 90's, U.S.A Custom Ibanez, Valley Arts.
There's never been a better time to buy guitars than now. More consistent quality, a wider choice (we've got the last 50 years of toys to choose from) it's no longer a strat a tele or a Les Paul, there's just so many more guitars to choose from and they've never been more accessible. Thanks to the internet, we're notlimited to what Mom adn Pop have in at the local store with threats of year long waits for custom orders.
sitting in the UK I can pick a Japanese-custom online from a store in Texas and have it couriered around the world in a couple of days.
The '50s had to be the worst and the '60s not far behind. Some are probably thinking, "Well gee, you could buy a new American made Strat or Tele for $249.00". Back in the '50s, $249 was a crapload of money. Probably about 10% of the annual average family income. It would be equvalent to buying a $5,000.00 Custom Shop Strat or Les Paul today.
I'm with Jono (although I actually voted for '80s).
The only gripe I have about buying guitars now is that the "Vintage" market has taken off to the degree that you can't find any Les Paul for less than £1000 over here, and that really is the bottom of the market. I remember (not that long ago) when 1970's Les Pauls weren't really considered to be that good, and the same with 1970's strats. Now they are silly money.
The really good thing about buying guitars post Nirvana is that all the things you wouldn't think of buying (jazzmaster etc) are really over priced, and the good stuff from the 1980's (ibanez, kramer, whatever) with pointy headstocks are relatively cheap for what they are.
I bought a Fender Musicmaster from a friend for £25 about 15 years ago. Lets face it, they really aren't good guitars (although I like it). I have seen them recently going for £300-£400. You can't tell me they are worth the same as a 2nd hand jap rg. When you consider that a beat-up unpopular jem model goes for £500 sometimes, it looks all the more strange. I pocked up a Charvel 550xl (thru-neck, schaller floyd) for £250 a couple of years ago, and you never see these go for much more. They are as good (well nearly) as a soloist in almost everyway. Although tone and feel are important particularly with some of the vintage guitars, there has to be a point when you actually start looking at the physical properties of a guitar and saying to yourself, this actually isn't alot for the money or vice versa.
Anyway rant over. Sorry, but these things need to be said sometimes.