The debate as to what warrants the additional cost of a super expensive instrument will never end. HOWEVER... I often hear arguments one way or the other that are just not accurate. Here's one thing to keep in mind when making a comparison. ALL basses are made partly by hand and partly by machines. The argument that something is "hand crafted" is simply a romantic notion. Unless you're talking about something cosmetic, all basses are essentially made the same way, but it a Fodera or a Squier. So what's the difference? Parts. Attention to detail. Quality control. Electronics. And mainly...the wood. In that regard, there is most definitely a difference. And it's the reason that an inexpensive bass and sometimes be a winner. Ya got lucky! My basic philosophy is, get the best instrument that YOU like at the best price. Getting something you don't like to save a hundred bucks on something that you'll have for years makes no sense. And spending thousands thinking that you're going to get something that is "the best" is unrealistic. There are plenty of choices these days to get something that will work in any situation. But you can't take crap on a pro gig and having a $6000 bass isn't going to make you more employable. Bottom line. it's how you play and how you work with others. Just get a good tool to do the job and show up on time.