Playability is subjective. It simply is whatever the player finds comfortable. Where I've learned the term is more of a marketting tool is in the area of boutique basses, which tend to feel more "solid" and in turn is promoted as being somewhat superior. (That solidity can often also feel a bit stiff). Add a pre amp that makes it louder and suddenly there's an elitist quality to it. Use exotic woods, add the term "hand crafted" (although all basses are a combination of hand and machinery) and a hefty price tag and there will always be those who feel better about owning a more "serious" instrument. Now, I'm not saying there aren't great custom made instruments out there. That's the point -- if you want to spend more for something you want...GREAT. But I do have to question the "playability" issue. For me it's simple. After going through dozens of basses, including custom built and boutique,I've come to the conclusion that playability is hundreds of little factors beyond the straightness of the neck. Maybe that's where the high end stuff is more consistant. But it doesn't mean it's preferable and it doesn't mean a cheaper bass is inferior. Consistancy in a product doesn;t mean much to me, because, I'm not buying the whole line. I need just one.