So first, the bad news- I returned the used SE Zach Meyers I bought a little less than a month ago...it had a blemish in the top (glue smudge?) that I didn't notice in the excitement of the store, but noticed once it was home and it's been eating at me ever since. My wife & daughter think I'm nuts of course (and I probably am), but I just didn't see the issue bothering me any less over time. Now the good news! Whilst the SE was a $500 purchase, I've talked the better half into letting me put away a couple hundred bucks a month (small raise at work- woo hoo!) toward getting a Core model instead. I owned a CE back in the 90's for a short time & enjoyed it, but am fond of set-neck guitars. I currently have a 2012 (2013 model year) Gibson SG standard- the year they started making them similar to the 61 reissue. I love 'hog guitars, and have admired a few Standard 22's that were all mahogany, but am worried that even with the difference in scale length & pickups, I'd be in the same territory as the SG. I'd like something that provides a little more tonal complexity, so thinking something like a McCarty with a maple top might do the trick...I also tend to like pickups with a little more vintage vibe. My primary requirements are 1) Core series, 2) hard tail, 3) probably used to maximize bang for buck (budgeting $2K and below). I'd appreciate any observations members might have, especually if you've had/played a similar SG & so know the general tones you can get out of it. I'd have to double check, but think the Gibby has '57 Classic pups. I have plenty of time before the money accumulates, so no hurry, and thanks in advance!