Thought I would just offer my point of view forward regarding the glut of (Well priced, well made) replica / copy guitars that are available on & off ebay today.
I have had emails from the odd (Very odd) purist, slating my advertising & sale of these instruments. The mind boggles when you read their remarks, which are founded on nothing more than pompous & spiteful criticism, having never even tried one of these guitars.
As a guitarist, musical instrument retailer & guitar teacher for over 30 years, I understand only too well the subtle differences between the qualities of guitars, but there are a lot of extremely well made, well priced copy guitars out there. Now I am not endorsing the replicas which use the originators logos etc & try to pass off as the originals, I am just talking of the ones that are good enough to stand alone in the market place, as respectable alternatives, particularly when shopping on a budget.
So before you die-hard (Coined-up) purists dismiss every single copy of original guitars such as; Gibson Les Paul's, Fender Strat's, Ibanez Jem's etc as crap, it's worth considering a couple of points. Again, I am not here to dispute the quality of their original counterparts, it's just that there is a much needed gap in the market for affordable alternatives.
It's all down to basic economics & common sense. The new & used retail cost, of many name guitars, is just simply too prohibitive for the young; Slash, Hendrix, Vai wannabe's to purchase, (Usually as their first guitar) But thanks to these alternatives, at least the style of their dream machine becomes a little more attainable.
Consider the cost of a new Les Paul at around £1,500 as opposed to a darn good copy at around £150, or in the case of the Ibanez Jem 7 at around £1,600 & their counterpart copies at around £160, (Thats 10 times less expensive)
Remember how Tokai started, they were originally direct replicas of branded guitars, now they have become sought after guitars in their own right, as have indeed many other brands such as Epiphone, Aria & Ibanez etc, etc.
Listen, as long as the average (Young persons) wage remains as disgustingly low as it is today & as long as named instruments have price tags that simply beggar belief, there will always be a need for these alternative 'value for money' instruments, so you Originoids out there will just have to get over yourselves, stop sniping ,stop being so damned pretentious & just get used to it.