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Normally I would recommend one of the all wood top Yamaha's such as the FG700S mentioned above (they have laminate sides and backs which suits your needs perfectly I think; see below), because Yamaha makes the best guitar at that price. However, the "S" designation means it has a solid spruce top, and I'm not sure how it would handle the extreme temperature variations I read about in Afghanistan (assuming that's where you're going).
I think perhaps a laminate top would be tougher, so that would mean the Yamaha FG700, or similar model, which is a bit cheaper. None of them sound like Martins or a good Gibson, but Yamaha has the best quality and quality control of the bunch, and they build them like tanks. I still have my Yamaha I bought new in 1970 and not a problem with it. I've never heard anyone say anything bad about a Yamaha. I don't think any of the other guitars mentioned would survive your deployment.
For example, the Seagulls et al are nicer guitars, but a lot more fragile. Depends on your needs.
I would agree that Seagulls are a lot more fragile, but, the lack of glue/laquer/wahtever on them makes them sound great. I now have 2 Rainsongs that are what I play out because they are bullet proof, but they were a lot more cash.
I have said this before, but I think you have to honestly try to by a ****************ty guitar these days. What you can get new for $150 is what cost $400 when I was a kid. OMG....I sound like a geezer. **************** me! I want waffles!
<div class="signaturecontainer">Good deals with - Yarbicus, CBH5150, BozzofAngels, Alvin Wilson, Harris Quinn<br />
Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.</div>
<img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>GAS Man</strong>
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<div class="message">Thrash the establishment, strip it down, and let it rip.</div>
<img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Deadbeat Son</strong>
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<div class="message">There's no "just a" allowed here. There's no reason to denigrate a great guitar that does the trick for you just because it's less expensive than someone else's.</div>