A decent guitar that you like and an excellent setup, either professionally done or done yourself if you know how are all you need. All the rest is icing on the cake. But... there's a thread running now about aesthetics and there are a few valid points posted there. For me, a high gloss finish is important. I won't play it if I can't look at it... so I guess the icing is as important on a guitar as on your birthday cake.