I've been a slab player for about 3-4 years now, and have wanted to get into playing double bass for some time, and there's a slight possibility I may be able to purchase my first upright sometime between now and September. While my influence on electric bass has been primarily jazz, and I will definitely play some jazz on an upright, I hope to also learn to play arco, and think that having a laminate bass could hinder my ability to learn such techniques. At most I'll be spending $2000-$2500, but it will more likely be in the range of $1000-$2000. There is one music store that I know of in the Pittsburgh area that rents double basses, but as far as I know, all of their rentals are laminate basses, and while rental charges are partially applied towards purchase of a new instrument, I find their prices to be significantly higher to similar instruments elsewhere (For example, $3500 for a new laminate Engelhardt). I've also found a local luthier whose prices seem a bit too low to expect much. Unless I was misquoted or misinformed about the construction, he has several fully carved basses in the $1000-$2000 range. From what I've read here is to be skeptical of such low-priced instruments, and I've heard some speak lowly of his ability as a luthier and even say his instruments are crap, but all of these comments came from employees of 1-2 other stores who were trying to interest me in their merchandise, so I don't know whether to take it to heart or not. I'm quite serious about playing this instrument, even though I highly doubt I'll be playing double bass in any professional manner outside of my own gigs anytime soon, and so I thought purchasing one might be in my best interest, rather than spending several hundred to several thousand renting an instrument, even if it may go towards purchasing a higher priced (overpriced?) instrument from the store that rents it to me. Any and all help is greatly appreciated, and I apologize for the long post.