Guitar prices are why guitar companies are struggling. I bet Squire and Epiphone aren't doing terrible. They make surprisingly good guitars at very reasonable prices. Let's take the big three; LP, Strat, Tele. The reason why you think an LP is cool is because of the Les Paul Standard, not the LP Custom Shop True Historic. The American Standard Strat and Tele are why people like them, not the Custom Shop 54 Relic. I'm 34 years old and am kind of an odd ball for my age group on how much I like guitar and how much I play. When I was 16 years old I worked all summer to buy an American Strat. I got a 97 Strat Plus, still have it. It's my baby. It cost $675 and was their highest end model, period. Today an Am Standard is like $1,800 and it's not very high end since the Custom Shop throws out $4k guitars like water. The same with Gibson. If you buy an LP Standard today it's pushing $3k but it's basically an entry model since TH's are pushing $10k. I get price gouging all the Baby Boomers who have all this money sitting around with endless free time and a short time left. That was always going to happen, but these companies that have been around forever and laid the foundation abandoned the future for a quick flash and it shows now. The Baby Boomer guitar buying craze is pretty much over and now Gibson and Fender are staring down the barrel of bankruptcy.