Wow I now know what playing a real bass feels like! To keep it short I've basically been decently satisfied with my Ibanez GSR 190 (the bass that come in the starter kits) until recently when I began to feel limited by its playability. It was great for the past 7 years so I guess I really did get my moneys worth out of it.
Then I decided to give in and start the hunt for a real players bass. I walked into a Guitar Center and saw that the P-bass I've been playing (and really enjoying the most) was still on the rack. To my surprise they had a great deal on it. So its a black (w/ white pickguard) 2012 American Standard P
...and I really like it!
I think that GSR 190 got me hooked on the P tone from day 1.
Also these basses come with cases (I didn't think they did), and long story short I got an upgrade to a nicer case free of charge.
My ownly gripe would be that the pickguard was changed at some point (who knows why haha) so I'll have to go get a better one. Its pretty minor tho.