When shopping for this, I almost bought a Larrivee OM-3 for $1100 cdn - I loved it and almost bought it - however, it wasn't twice as good as the Washburn (I thought the Washburn came close enough). Thus far, I would buy this guitar again, but probably not at $995 (I would buy the Larrivee). Bottom Line - I lucked into a great deal and am having plenty of fun with the Washburn. No regrets. I'm giving ratings of 4 because only an out of body experience rates a 5.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $450.00 cdn (new)
Where Obtained: MusicCity (Newfoundland)
Made in China with 21 frets (very accessible via cutaway). Equis plus (undersaddle) has notch filter for feedback plus presence, mid, bass, treble and volume, along with a EQ on/off. Tuners are Grovers. Ordinary list was $995 cdn but I got a discount due to some damage incurred via shipping from supplier to shop (which was repaired by shop and in any event did not affect any functionality).
Very good action, excellent feel to the neck - relatively thin, yet quite "beefy". Quite conducive to comfortable playing. As comfortable as anything I've testdriven.
I play through a POD (tube preamp setting with little/no effects)and it sings. Very well balanced sound - flawless intonation up and down. Unplugged, the sound is a little bright, however that's my preference. Plugged and you're only limited by what you're plugged into - the guitar is not the weak link. I have a Simon & Patrick but they are not comparable soundwise as the S&P has a cedar top and produces a very different tone.
Guitar seems quite durable thus far (had it for a month).