I've had my eye on those Echotones. They look great, and they often sell inexpensively on Reverb. I almost ended up with one of those D'Angelicos. Before they went up on the revolving SDOTD, they had a 50% off sale that put them even a little cheaper. I went in wanting a P90 model and then watched a couple videos on the humbucker models and was really impressed at how they sounded. They really look like excellent guitars at the STOTD prices.I have several. I used to have a nice Gibson ES-335... ran across a Hamer Echotone for $300, brand new... ended up liking it better than the 335... sold the 335, no regrets. Since then I picked up a D'Angelico Premier on one of MF's SDOTD that I like even better than the Echotone.
I have a Vintage Modified Squire Thinline Tele that I just love! I just don't understand what everyone has against the "fake" WRHB pickups... I think they sound great!
Over on the acoustic side I have a Guild GAD25NAT. I'm a huge Guild fan... have three US built Guilds, and this Chinese GAD hangs right with them.
There is a big cult following of '60s-''70s red label Yamaha FG acoustics, but the real sleepers are the early Taiwan built models. They can be had very cheap. I have several, (110, 160, 170, 512) and they sound every bit as good as any of the red label ones I've owned or played.
Those FF338s are amazing for the money, especially if you do luck out and get one that doesn't need anything. I've gone through 4 (2 sold, one up for sale, 1 is staying) and all of them needed various amounts of work to fix wonky cosmetics, poor setup issues, sharp and/or oxidized frets, or crap bridges, but once you straighten out those issues, the end result is a really nice guitar that plays and sounds great, for very little cash. My keeper is my spalted 338, which I absolutely love. The only thing that I really have any desire to change is to swap to a brighter neck pickup, purely out of personal preference. I think the neck pickups sound good, but they're darker than I prefer, so I picked up a 'bucker-sized P90 and I'm looking forward to swapping it in.Without a doubt, my Firefly 335. Swapped in pickups I had pulled out of another guitar, replaced tuners and bridge. Didn't have to do a thing to the nut, neck or frets, played nice and smooth. All in, $175. Hasn't displaced my I35, but it's a really good sounding, good playing guitar. I'm sure I totally lucked out on the QC on this one.
As someone mentioned, the MIK Hamer Echotone is also killer.