Mom and I have decided we're going to get my dad one for his birthday. I, being the musician (sic) in the house, have been charged with deciding what banjo to get him. I've spoken to a few of the bluegrass guys I know around here about a manufacturer named Deering, and they said that for the money it's a good instrument. Then I found and played one at GC, and from what I could tell is put out a nice, strong sound without a lot of work (compared to a Rogue I played that it felt like I was kind of fighting the sound out of). Is this Deering a good banjo for a beginner to hang onto for a few years without having to worry about upgrading? I wager he'll never be on a stage playing, but for him to learn on and play with at the house or whatever, it should be alright, right? If you like, offer other suggestions under $500 (which is what we decided our limit would be. I don't see any reason to entertain the thought of getting him a $5,000 Gibson banjo). What about Fender banjos? Are they any good?