ok. to avoid that "what's the best bass for ...." trap, i'll rephrase and elaborate but am basically asking that, sorry. i have a bass, bought it new in 91, haven't seen the need for another, so until about 2 years ago when i picked up a cheap 5er, that was it. i'm starting to explore an emergency or grab and go cheapo to kick around with. i am, for the most part, a hard rock to metal player, and don't use a pick. the technique i have taught myself (maybe right, maybe wrong but it's how i play, sooo... ) sort of requires a pickup in the center position. neck pickups seem to put my hand in a weird spot, and bridge pickups make the strings feel too hard to pluck with authority. i sometimes play dirty, most of the time clean but do pluck heavily. so now it comes to what i'm seeking--- sucess stories--- did you ever pick up a 100-200 priced bass and actually thought "why, that feels pretty nice"? if yes what was it? that is what i need. something decent enough, but a model that will always be on the cheap and i won't give a ***k about getting dinged and abused. stopping a twit-ar center tomorrow, so the newest pile-o-shyte models aren't necessarily what i'm after, i'll see them there.