Here's the abbreviated story.. Back in high school some 20 odd years ago, I played orchestral bass, as well as upright in our school's 20+ piece swing band. After I graduated I set the bass playing aside. About a year ago, I picked up an upright and set it up for rockabilly slap bass. I've been teaching myself and it's actually not going so bad. I work on ships for a living and spend about 6 months out of the year (not consecutively) bobbing around. I'm thinking I should pick up a cheap-ish short-scale electric bass that could easily travel with me. Yeah, it won't help me learn rockabilly slap, but I can certainly gain experience with my left hand and relearn theory. Since I'm a retro guy, I've been eyeballing hollow bodies. I like the look and the sound. So, what should I be looking at/for? I've seen a few Epiphone EA-260's and 5120's for less than $500, but they all seem a bit haggard.. Do I just spend the extra cash and pick up something like a Gretsch G5442? They seem to go for about $800. Yeah, it's more expensive, but it's new and a whole lot less likely to give me issues... I've also seen some new very inexpensive Chinese "no-name" models that almost look too good to be true. Thoughts? Opinions?