Well, I woke up this morning very excited. Today is the day I was doing my bass shopping! I don't have any real good guitar shops within half hour of where I live, so when I go shopping, I go to a a few good shops. My day started out at Guitar Factory. I was going there to play a 4 string Musicman Bongo with HB and SC pickups. I must admit, from the second I picked this bass up, I had a smile on my face. Even more so once I started playing this baby. The sound blew me away. I could tell straight away this was a weapon of mass destruction. I was so surprised at how comfortable I found it to be. I was slappin' and tappin' and groovin' and movin' like I had owned this bass for years. The salesman did a great deal for me. $2600 with a hard case, padded strap, top end lead, 1 year of free services and complete set-up before I took it home. Pretty much the usual stuff you expect to get with your gear. But I was very impressed with the price. I left the shop thinking, "Alright, it will be very very hard for anything else I play to match up to that!" In fact all the way to the car, I couldn't shut up about it! I was just so excited about the concept of owning this Bongo! Next shop was Music City Sydney. Walked in and the salesman grabbed a Warwick Corvette FNA Jazzman 5, a Spector Euro and an Ibanez SR Prestige 5. Played around for a while, and was particularly happy with the Jazzman. The neck was a tad uncomfortable, but it didn't hurt playing. The sound was also a bit too trebley for my taste, a bit to twangy or something. May of been the strings though. The Spector and Ibanez I didn't feel were anything special. I played a 5 string Bongo with the same pickups as the last one, and had the same reaction. Also played a Marcus Miller, which I liked, but I'm not too interested in another Fender. After talking to the guy for quite a while about Bongo's vs Warwick's, I left the shop. He actually told me something interesting. Apparently the paint on the Bongo's wear off very easily. There was a mark on their Bongo's neck where the paint was missing. He told me it was from leaving the bass hanging on a rubber hook. I was pretty shocked at this. He informed me that within 3 years, almost all of the paint from the back of the neck would be gone. I thought they had a sealant over the top of the paint? Can anyone inform me on this? Anyways, left the shop, feeling happy about the Jazzman. I think I may of wanted to like it though because it looked so damn sexy. Down to The Bass Player to try out a 1997 Streamer Stage 1. This was the bass I was stoked to try, because I've heard all the good things about pre-98 Warwicks, and wanted to try it out for myself. I mucked around on the Streamer for a while, and even though I was very interested in it, I decided that $2300 was too much for it. I offered the guy $1800 cash on the spot. If he had of accepted it, I would be sitting here with a '97 Streamer on my lap. But alas, he would not take any less than $2250, so down to Billy Hyde. Walked into Billy Hyde, not really expecting anything. The guy on the phone told me he had a few Spector's, a heap of Fender's, some Warwick's and that was about it. As soon as I got to the bass section, first thing I noticed was the Spector US NT with AAAAA Quilted Maple. Damn, that is one fucking sexy piece of wood! I drooled for a while, played for a bit, but the $8000 price tag is just a touch out of my league. All of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I notice something that looks familiar, yet, different. I walk over and realise it is a Warwick Corvette 'Hot Rod' 5 banger. I thought all these were now gone in Aus (we only received 10 altogether). It was more beautiful then I could of imagined! I plugged her in and played for ages. It was just so nice. The sound was what I was after, and the neck didn't feel as chunky as previous Warwick's I had played. And the wood. Damn, how gorgeous! The guy refused to budge from the $3400 price tag (marked down from $4000). He said best he could do was take $40 off. $40 my ass! I guess he doesn't want to make much more than an 80% profit. But I talked him into throwing in a padded strap, but he wasn't sure about a hard case. He tried to convince me that the gig bag was better than a hard case. Although shortly after I saw the manager, and he said if I paid cash, he would see what he could do. So, here comes the tough part of my day. A choice between the uber versatile Bongo, or the uber sexy Hot Rod. The Bongo has got the range of tones, but the Hot Rod felt nicer in my hands. Still loved the sound of the Hot Rod though. So I've made my decision. I'm going with the Hot Rod. I can buy the Bongo anytime I want. Hell I'll probably buy the Bongo before the end of the year. But this will be my only chance to get the 'Vette. And boy, did I love that 'Vette! Anyways, that was my day. I'm going into Billy Hyde tomorrow to buy the Hot Rod. I will also not pay more than $3200, and WILL receive a free hard case and strap with it MINIMUM! Maybe try and get one of those racks that holds 5 guitars. So, what would you guys have chosen in my situation. The Hot Rod, the Bongo, or maybe one of the other basses I played?