Bean counters rule!
I can see this as major cost cutting factor for Gibson, but a major loss for the Gibson playing community. It looks like modding your new Gibson will take on an entirely new aspect - If you don't like your pots, what now? A new board with your selection of pots? The aftermarket companies are going to have a field day. (Gibson licensed exclusives?)
Plek? Another cost saving measure. I've played a few "pleked" Gibsons. I see very little difference with that and a properly done fret dress / leveling / polishing / nut filing. Gibson just has to train a few operators on the machine vs keeping on the people who have the experience to do it by hand, sight and feel.
Price increases - going to happen as time marches by, but looks like bean counting voodoo to me.
For the record, I'm not a stuck in the mud traditionalist, nor am I a luddite fearing new technology. I'm also a dyed in the wool Gibson fan.
I never thought that I would even remotely slam Gibson, but these changes don't sit right with me.
Gibson is a brand steeped in tradition, and that is their major selling point and magic. Is this brand heading down the slippery slope of the Micro Soft business model?
This smacks of bean counters once again ruling the roost......................