I'm dying here...not literally, no. Here's the deal: I've been thinking about trying my hand at building a few basses for myself. I keep thinking that it would be a great learning experience, as well as extremely satisfying in the end. I'm in the process of selling off a bunch of miscellaneous equipment that others will find more useful than I, cleaning out the studio, and building up some cash in the bank, prepping to buy some tools, parts, wood, etc. Then I see the latest work results from a few of the professional luthier/members here...no, I'm not discouraged, I'm stoked ...but it makes me want to just order a bass from them instead of making one...and there's one maker in particular that's just doing the stuff that's really good. So, what would you do? Would you be patient and pay your dues buy learning the craft, or would you say "to H-E-!-! with it" and place an order? Or, perhaps I should ask you what you've already done in the past? I'm a teacher professionally, so it's not like I'm making money hand over fist (or however that saying goes)... By the way, a sincere thank you for your help...I'm making some light of an otherwise serious situation.