I never owned one though I played a few extensively, and you are right in saying it is an incredibly subjective question. There isn't any true consistency even in high cost instruments and one R9 could be "just ok" and another could be absolutely jawdropping. Guitars are best judged on a case by case basis. I have about 10-12 guitars currently that I would much rather have than an R9, and minus one they all cost way less . Doesn't take away the R9s reputation for being an excellent instrument, but we all have our preferences.