This was concern of mine when I ordered a Murphy Lab aged '57 Goldtop sight unseen from LMcQ. Big Money for me. I said I might reject it if it was too heavy or if the fretboard looked anemic> I wanted 8.5lbs and a uniformly dark fretboard. The sales guy said he couldn't promise anything, but...
I picked up a '57 Goldtop ML and have been very impressed. Dark board, nice checking, 8.5 lbs, neck slightly thicker than the '59 I had. Already thinking about picking up a '54 heavy aged so the '57 doesn't get lonely.
OP, I've often wondered myself, and wish I could tell you. I've never played a MB
A lot of Dale Wilson and Yuriy's stuff seems to catch my eye.
Todd Krause has a strong Clapton connection.
John Cruz tend to pop up a lot, but also sell real quick.
Best of luck!
I thought we'd be seeing a bigger price drop, especially on the vintage gear, but it hasn't happened yet. I'd like a real '60s jazzmaster, but there is a lot of other things I'd like more at their current prices. I'll probably move onto something else once they hit what I consider a fair price...