So I thought I'd take jayyj's advice and look for an entry level Gibson arch top to give me a birth year guitar that's sort of affordable. There are 3 1956 Gibson 225's (one is a 225T) on Reverb.com. One is not so far away that I could drive there to check it out. One is in Mt Pleasant, SC, where I'll be in the near future visiting my sister, so I could check it out in person as well. The last one is in New Jersey, and I'm not driving there. I emailed all 3 and only the NJ owner (or should I say "ad owner")replied. Not much of a description on his ad, and when I asked him about originality he said things like "the owner said it...", and when I asked about the the condition of the original case he said he's "checking", apparently with the owner. So he doesn't know anything about the guitar and is just running an ad for someone else. Forget it. As for the others, you would think they would check on their listing, or at least be set up to get alerts when they receive a message, but apparently not. You gotta wonder sometimes.