I recently played a very used Gibson Thunderbird at my local guitar store. Kinda tempted to buy it. I loved everything about it (other than the price for the condition). I walked into Guitar Center yesterday and played a white Epiphone Thunderbird Pro IV and was hardpressed to tell the significant differences. (I am a Squier/Fender snob - only American Fenders for me ... don't judge me. ) With the neck thru (7 ply vs. 9) and American Gibson pickups, they seem very similar, no? Can someone tell me why I wouldn't go with the $499 NEW epiphone instead of an $800 very used (but not brutalized) Gibson Thunderbird? Thanks!