My VM Jazz Bass is GREAT. Quality all the way -- looks, playability. $280 new.
My mini Strat is very good, and fun to play, but not life-changing. $100 new.
My Indonesian Strat had REALLY rough fret ends, so I filed them down. Pickups are very tinny-sounding, but that works well with certain effects. $150 new.
All these instruments have IC serial numbers, all bought in the last 3-4 years.
How do these compare to instruments I have from other countries? The bass holds its own with anything from anywhere. The other 2 are inexpensive instruments that are 100% functional, and they're right on par with other inexpensive, functional instruments.
"It looked like a giant green gum drop to me."