I picked up a Fender DG-60 recently...a very inexpensive laminated dread. I compared it to all the other solid top/laminated b/s in the store and it out played them all imo. I threw on some elixirs and it really came to life. I'm not here to say it is better than any solid Martin, Taylor, Larrivee, etc. but it does meet my needs completely. I think the laminated process has come a long way from some of the crap produced in the 60's and 70's. Plus where I live (semi arid climate) I no longer have to worry about humidifying. I am watching the fret ends but so far not a problem. As far as the reputation part goes, there is a lot of snobbery out there. There are folks that will never consider even playing a laminated guitar much less own one.