PRS guitars are made in the PRS factory in Maryland, by Paul-trained employees, from lumber dried in PRS' drying rooms, sporting Paul's latest brainstorm developments, using the-highest quality everything. The finished instruments have few peers in the world. They have inspired dozens of luthiers to improve their standards of guitar-making. There are lots of reasons why the instruments are highly desirable. The greatness is in the details.
Not everyone finds that level of guitar necessary, but I do.
SEs are a different thing, made by a company that isn't PRS, to a price point, under license. There's nothing in the world wrong with that, it just isn't ever going to be my choice.
"Les, you're an elitist snob."
I echo this same sentiment as Les and it applies to the guitars I enjoy/own. I've played a lot of guitars, visiting very accommodating shops and having owned close to 140 guitars in the last 9 years (my wife has kept account lol..but before 9 years ago I wasn't counting). I do however still understand the awesome value of SE guitars and recommend them often.
There is a place in this world for the import guitars. I grew up on cheap charvel and epiphone....as I grew as a musician I just bought was fit my needs and budget at the time. I remember the 90s when I thought my Epiphone was just as good as any Gibson I played next to it. I also remember the late 90s when I started to understand the difference as heavy practicing and gigging showed me that the most challenging parts of the set list were played significantly easier with the Gibson I had borrowed every now and then. I was in college at the time and I started saving, my college jobs were not jobs that afford Gibson price tags. 8 months of strict saving and taking extra side jobs I had a used 83 Gibby LP custom in my hands. It was worth the torture to me.
All that said, I also own that unicorn Indonesian sunburst squire strat that plays/feels soooo good It makes you question everything. So with that said, Import guitars have an important role to play. They gotta be good to keep the inspiration alive for the players to write and have fun. I like that the SE guitars also bring a certain "wow" factor along with that inspiration.