I had the chance of trying one yesterday. I feel the same about them like you. Good entry-level guitars. No doubt. Not so much in the Gretsch tradition although. These are not for me. Left that kind of guitars behind me 20 years ago. There is a big difference in the haptics of an entry-level Gretsch like these to a professional line or a real vintage one that -to me- is worth the money. And considering how much more expensive these big-bucks-guitars are, these look like a bargain. I can perfecly understand why Gretsch are offering these to the public at this point of time. It is a smart move to hook the young guitarist on this great brand. "Get an item with a Rolls Royce-label for the price of a Volkswagen.." Well done. The only fear I have is that they are selling out. Gretsch should send a strong sign of not selling out now by pushing the professional line in another spetacular way.