I was looking at Martins, then moved to Gibson, and was avoiding Taylors. Taylors are super bright, and that is intoxicating, so... I was avoiding them. I tried about 25 Martins, 6 Gibson (these were wonderful guitars but were slightly out of my price range), a handful of Taylors to cleanse my aural pallet, and a couple of Breedlove. When I picked up the 214ce, I was just intending to mess around with something so different that it would hit the reset button on my ears. I got lost in this guitar for about 10 minutes, then I scoffed and put it back on the rack, saying, "No way... You are just a cheap guitar... I want solid wood back and sides..." Then I played more guitars, but... The experience I had with this one never left me, and I kept coming back for more. If I had another thousand bucks, there's a Gibson I would have probably bought instead, and I probably will some day. Meanwhile, all the guitars that I messed with that were priced up to $600 more than this one just did not flip my switch like this one did. The day after, when I woke up, I feared I had made a mistake committing to this one after playing about 40 guitars over a week. So I grabbed it and played is some more, and I just haven't been able to wipe the smile off of my face. Love this thing. Ultimate guitar for me? We'll see. Meanwhile, it will keep me loving playing for the years between now and whenever I run into that ultimate guitar for me - and it may be all I'll ever need. Love it. The Martins that were in my range sounded incredible in first position, but the playability and timbre became considerably harder and darker up the neck (I do wander up the neck). This Taylor feels ELECTRIC up the neck. The timbre is consistent across the fret board. So... I was not after this kind of guitar, but it won me over, away from what I thought I was looking for.