I have found the way to beat the curve is to buy used. I paid $1600 for a blonde figured top 335 a year ago. It was a good buy. They go for $3000 at MF, but there's no way I would pay that as I see that price way past the "knee" that you have illustrated. I have a mid 80's Japanese Squier Tele that I paid $200 a few years ago. I upgraded pickups and put a Callaham bridge/saddles on it and have less than $400 in it. It is probably a better playing/sounding guitar than my Tele Custom that I paid $2000 for. I would get rid of a lot of other more expensive guitars before the Squier.