Re: Cracked binding!
I agree that it's not a huge deal, but I don't think the guitar is quite old enough to pull the "this is a natural process" response. Honestly, I think Gibson needs a boot in the a$$ with their QC so that things like this don't happen. Sure, it doesn't actually affect anything, but if we were buying for tone alone, a lot of us would choose studios over standards because most of the differences are aesthetics.
Sure, some people like the look of worn guitars, but that's over-hyped too, I think. It's just the new "fad" for guitars, the "vintage look". If the finish looks new, the binding should too. Might be a minute detail, but we're paying about a thousand dollars extra (studio vs standard) for these minute details so how can anyone excuse bad QC on behalf of their personal preference? Regardless if you like worn guitars, a 2008's binding should not be cracked if it has truly been a case queen all it's life.
On the other hand, if you leave your guitars out all the time and play them all day everyday, expect some aging/wearing even if the guitar isn't that old.