It was the Ibanez that done it for me as well.IMHO, if you don't like the neck, it's game over, at least for that neck.
I always think that the neck is 90% of the instrument. All the other bits & pieces can be changed, if you are so inclined/motivated/bothered/bored.
I've also discovered that what constitutes a 'feels really good' neck can change over time.
I used to favour fairly chunky neck profiles, but having lived with a scrawny-necked Ibanez for some years now (out of necessity), I now often find others to be too chunky.
I had a play with a Gretsch recently and the neck felt like a power pole, which disappointed me because I so wanted to like the guitar.
I ended up playing my 1984 Roadstar RS1000 from when I bought it 2nd hand in '89 for £200 right up until I took it apart to revamp at 1 month sober in 2013.
Lesson learned. Never trust a thought at 1 month sober, the brain is scrambled.
My initial intention was to change the strings but went too far and the guitar still sits in a box, broken into its component parts.)
The thing is I hated that Ibanez. The look, the sound, the horrible Hard Rocker Pro trem.
But I loved playing it, the guitar felt great to play because of the neck. The neck and my left hand were made for each other.
I played it more than any other, more expensive guitar I owned.
A close second was my Yamaha 1984 Acoustic which I still play every day but it's now falling apart and sounds awful.
Yes, the playing is definitely in the neck for me.
I haven't realised that up until now and I've been playing for 45+ years.
I've arrived at the decision to hang onto the Tele just now and have given it a major revamp over the last month, which I'll post with photos in the next day or two.
The reason behind this was after a long chat with my good friend who has forgotten more about guitars than I'll ever know.
He's a tech/luthier (currently on tour with Placebo) but opened a build/repair shop during the lockdown because he's getting to that age where touring for 45 weeks per year for 25+ years isn't conducive to good health.
We both had the same Ibanez when we were in a band together in the 80s/90s so he knows the neck profile well.
When his tour finishes in early 2023, he's going to help me build exactly what I want.
I'll also have completed a few months at night school (luthier college in Glasgow) by then.
The result is that I've totally rebuilt my 72 Custom mainly as a practice build (of sorts).
I've turned the last screw on it last night and realised I had no strings, so when the strings arrive tomorrow, I'll string it up and set up the intonation etc over the weekend.
Once the new build is done, I'll either keep the 72 Custom as a 2nd guitar or pass it on to my nephew, who's been playing my old Squier Bullet 1 (another 1984 guitar) since I gave it to him 5 years ago.
Next up is the Ibanez, even if it's just to feel that neck in my left hand again.