40-something former and current guitar player.
I picked up the guitar at age 12 and started lessons. My parents bought me an old HUGE Yamaha acoustic and said, if I stuck with it, they'd get me an electric. That Christmas, with my progress and playing habits, they bought me a Fender Lead II and a Yamaha amp (I'd love to blow that amp up... worst I ever owned).
I wasn't a big fan of the Fender. While it was a decent guitar, I wanted flash... so I traded it in for a Ibanez Destroyer. A guitar I later got rid of and haven't ever thought about it, without regret. It was a beautiful and well-playing axe. The Ibanez I traded it for... POS. After selling the Ibanez POS and missing out on a '71 Gibson Black Beauty, I bought a Kramer Baretta, one of the last of the American series some time around '86. It is a truly classic guitar. A Lamborghini to. It was made to play fast and shred. Its the finest guitar, I've ever owned, or played. I've had at least 1 person try to steal it (a contracted GC guitar tech) and 3 offers to buy it. Don't think it will ever happen.
However, when I realized I wasn't ever going to be Eddie Van Halen and life... just distracted me and frustrated me that I wasn't making any progress. I had hit a dead-end. It went that way for 20 years. Through a Type A and B dissection of my aorta, 3 aortic aneurysms and 2 strokes (yeah, all at the same time). Then something clicked, about 6 months ago. I wanted to play again. I grabbed an acoustic and tried to pick it back up. No go... wasn't there.
One day, I got a flier for GC Labor Day Sale. A beautiful Epiphone on the cover, a decent price. I went in and walked out, with a different but equally beautiful Epiphone Honeyburst LP.
3 days later, after falling in love with the Epi... the nagging thought, kept playing in my head, "I could have bought a Gibson, if I wanted to." I was in GC that day and walked out (after returning the Epi), a Gibson Studio Pro Les Paul.
I've always got the hype (justified) with Les Paul's. Happy to be an owner now, not lusting after one.