I'm to the point I need my own steel string acoustic. I've played guitar a long time. My first and only steel string acoustic has been a borrowed Taylor (not sure of model) that I got from my brother in law. I love playing, but hate shopping- looking through guitars and dealing with salespeople (there are exceptions). So, I'm hoping someone might have a bit more background so I don't have to spend too long in a store. I have a few things I want in a guitar that the Taylor doesn't have.
1. a wider fingerboard
2. a bit of a a low end (and)
3. good projection
The things I really like about theTaylor is
1. the neck is thin
2. great clarity
3. very comfortable overall (other than when I'm fingerpicking)
Also, I'd prefer to spend under $3k on the thing. My brother in law has a Dave Matthews Martin he spent a ton of money on that I don't care for. Like the sound better than the taylor, but not a fan of the overall feel of the guitar. I'm more familiar with classical guitars. The classical guitar I bought and loved is a Manuel Rodriguez Jr Rio (and had to sell when I was a very poor grad student). I also really like Hill guitars, if that helps.
Finally, if anyone knows of stores near Washington DC that aren't quite as loud and obnoxious as the big box guitar shops please let me know. Thanks.