Hey bsman, you gave up too easily! You don't say which particular model or issue of the Special you had your bad experience with, whether it was indeed a Gibson or something else, or whether it was new, or just someone's heavily used and discarded 'relic' job. Whatever, I'm not suggesting for one moment that you didn't have the bad experience. I am however puzzled. There had to be a reason for you to want a DC Special in the first place, and presumably you had a good reason to expect a more positive experience and outcome. You must also know that guitars can vary from one to the next, even if only to a small degree. Having said that, you certainly found a very bad example of whatever it was you decided to 'test drive'. In my experience, the one you have been dreaming of (we are speaking of guitars in this case ), is out there somewhere - just waiting for you. You simply need to be patient .... You don't give up after trying out the one guitar, as you imply you did in your post. Try a different dealer and one who doesn't have a demonstration model available that requires you to have medic standing by. Find a nice example of the guitar you are looking for, and one that appeals to your eye as well as to your pocket book. Make sure the guitar has been set-up properly. If it doesn't feel right - try another or walk out. Just don't give up! The 'TV white' Special that I own is as close to being as perfect in its overall construction, finish and feel, as any guitar that I have ever been fortunate enough to handle. Granted, it is a 2006 CS Reissue of a 1960 LP Special, with a couple of 'reversible' tweaks - not the cheapest Special available I know, but, even my Double Cut 2011 Gibson USA Special, available new at less than half the price of the CS version, is finished to a pretty high level and is very close to the CS version in playability and feel. Not sure what else to say ...... these are both darn fine guitars ...... and I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. Keep on looking! A look at the 'finish' at the back of the necks etc., for comparison..... - first the 2006 CS 1960 reissue ...... -and the 2011 Gibson USA Special ..... ........and both are just as smooth as a baby's bum!!