I have a confession to make. I think basses and guitars (and if anyone plans on using the term "gitard" please go back to 7th grade) are just assembly line pieces of wood with electronics. There. I said it. They're not rocket ships, they're not Lamborgini's, they're just functional tools. Sure, some instruments are better built than others but does that make it worth 20 times the price of a very functional mid-price instrument? Over the years I've found some great cheapo's -- a Carlo Robelli 6 string. My first Ibanez (that I regretfully sold), the new Squires -- all GREAT instruments. And not just for the price. Any instrument has its vibe and no one instrument is the "ultimate" end all and be all ax. And at times playing an expensive instrument is a little pretentious (look at my expensive instrument!!!) whereas playing a cheap one is a statement -- it says. "it doesn't matter what I use -- I can play." So...who out there actually PREFERS a cheap instrument to the expensive models. Don't be shy. Admit it. You're among friends.