Here's my story. Basically, I'm deciding on a new bass to buy in a mid-level price range. If anyone can offer some advice (I've been playing bass for a year and this will be my second purchase), that would be awesome. Anyway, first I was set on a basic MIM fender p. Then I noticed the Highway series, which offered me the coveted "american" recognition, yet cost less than the standard americans, which are out of my price range. the only thing is, because they're so new, the jury seems to still be out as to whether or not they're any good (based on the previous postings). Today, I began reading some great raves about the '51 reissues/sting bass and am now quite intrigued by that. I guess the Japanese craftsmanship seems to be superior to Mexican, and according to some people, even American. My only concern with this model is 1. the vintage pickup. Is it any good? It doesn't seem like there would be many options if I wanted to get rid of it and find a new one (but perhaps it's great to begin with?). And 2. based on how long it is, many people report some stringing issues. Obviously, one of the bigggest factors will be how it sounds and feels when I play it, but just based on specs and experience, where would you put your money in this case? (any help appreciated, even if you've only tried one of the three.) thanks!