Sometimes they just don't use enough base color and it looks bleached like that. Maple is so pale on its own so it really needs it. They used very little "burst" on mine. I would almost not consider it a Honeyburst. It looks much closer to a Lemonburst. I'm sure they paint so many guitars that some just don't come out as intended... for better or worse.Yeah it makes no sense. Seems like they're doing too well, or they just don't care enough. Keep a guitar on the wall to push people into presales for the next shipment, instead of making a regular customer happy. Makes no sense.
But this might happen for a reason. The store I'm going to on Saturday are really nice people who take care of their customers. They have an Iced Tea, Unburst and all the Classics in stock. And I know already that at least one of them has a good weight for me.
The store I visited today did have two Classic Honeybursts that they did allow me to buy, but one looked bleached like a stone washed jeans and the other was a boat anchor. What is it with some USA Gibsons that makes them looks so weird and bleached? I've also seen it on many Unbursts. It's really weird.
It sounds like you have some great options at the other store. It's certainly worth all the hassle and driving to end up with the right guitar.