Two Eras - growing up in the sixties when music was evolving at a faster rate and the cool Fenders and Gibsons and Martin Guitars.
The Present- don't know about real expensive acoustics or Arch Top Electrics BUT- I think some of the best Electric Solidbodies of all time are being made right NOW.
The CNC neck pockets , the ultra precision frets on the better guitars of today and the set necks and neck throughs were NOT this good in the 60s or probably the 50s either - just as with Amps ( ESPECIALLY AMPS!) there's a wide variety of really good precision instruments if you care and know where to look and what you need.
Now is a good time except as a writer/ player very hard to come up with stuff people haven't heard before............................THAT's the challenge.
Well I would have to say mid 80's to mid 90's.....especially if they are pointy guitars. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the B.C. Rich Ironbird and Warlock, Carvin X220(just like the v220 but pointier) and the Washburn AF40V(Ace Frehley model). I would love to see Washburn re-issue an updated AF40V as a bolt on with dual humbuckers and a better trem. It's hard to tell from looking at pics of it whether one could be made as a bolt on without too much body redesign.
Lately, I have been fiddling with the idea of buying a neck thru blank and cutting and shaping my own body wings to create my own updated AF40V. Of course I would have to send it away to have the routing done for the electronics cavity and pickup routes. Anyone know where I would send it to have a quality job done?