For me it started as an artist sponsorship....my guitar hero Frank Hannon of Tesla had an endorsement deal with Washburn during their 2005 acoustic tour...the 2nd show we went to on that tour we won passes to sit on stage and I was on the other side of the stage seated next to former guitar player Tommy Skeoch and had a really good angle to see all of Frank's guitars that night and the new Washburn's he was given before the show were pretty spectacular....I think he had a J58 Jumbo Acoustic and the back and sides were visually awesome....so I started doing some research and found that the J28SCEDL or SDL might be in my price range and joined the Washburn forum....I gassed for that J28 for quite some time...played a few....bid on several.....winded up with a D46.
The quality is there and they offer reasonable price tags that fit into my budget much more than the big names. Sure I would love to have a Martin, or a Taylor....or Gibson J-185 or for that matter the workhorse J-45 but I do not make that kind of money, have a family of 4 children and a big mortgage to pay....so under $500 dollar guitars seems to be where I land...and when you can find deals on them for under $300 with a case....you really cannot go wrong.
I also have a Parkwood PW-340FM that I was fortunate to catch on sale before they got popular....for under 400.....for a guitar that had an SRP of over $1100.
Truly I think the real deal with them....is alot of us who migrated over here from the Washburn forum.....feel a special bond from that initial interest....Strum and Mudcat found this place I believe....invited the rest of us over 1 by 1 and the rest is history.....I think you have seen that most if not all of us have since bought other brands and even some of us who were very loyal to the acoustic side...(Strum and Shiner) have wandered across to the dark side of Electricity even.
Things change.....things stay the same....but at the end of the day it boils down to do you have champagne tastes and pocket money to boot? No....I have champagne tastes and cheap beer pocket money.....so I bought a Washburn Acoustic (which actually makes the 5th W I have bought over the last 3 years)