I read the OP, was shocked to learn that I am a sucker who has been duped by marketing BS, and immediately sold my nice old CS Strat and used that cash to buy 50 Affinity Strats because, you know, they're just as good... and now I have 50!!! Honestly, I'm glad when anyone gets a guitar that's great for them and their preferences and circumstances, and I've never been fussy myself since I never had any money until I hit 35 or 40... fairly late in the game. But I don't appreciate being told that people who like and play more expensive guitars are elitists or posers, or that a whole range of guitars are somehow the same. I have a handful of excellent guitars, two of them fairly expensive and the other a great old one I lucked into for a way low price. I don't look at them as having to be the best dollar-for-perfomance purchases ever -- they feel great and sound great to me, and I've worked my whole life, and I'm willing to pay somewhat more for these things I use every single day to do what I love: making music. I don't want to impress anyone -- I don't get that at all -- and no one cares anyway. People say they like what I play, not that my guitars impress them! It's no longer true that people disparage good offshore-made guitars; quite the reverse. I never hear people bagging on them, I just read owners expressing their own insecurities by arguing as though something everyone sees as a genuine manufacturing success is somehow looked down upon.