Hi, I'm looking to buy my first acoustic (or acoustic/electric) and would like to know what guitars you guys would recommend in the price range of around $800-$1,000 AUD, or around $700-$850 US. I definitely will be trying out a good amount of guitars first hand before I buy, but I'd also appreciate your input on what you like. For my purposes, tone > feel > looks.

Also, does anyone own/have played one of these, and what do you think about it? http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/acoustic_guitars/takamine/eg543sc/index.html

And to anyone living in Melbourne, will i need a humidifier?

Thanks in advance.
i got my Seagull Artist Portrait for $700 USD. i've seen it for a little less in certain places. if you can find it i definitely highly recommend it. although wide seagull necks are something you should probably try out before you buy.

Warmoth Telecaster Deluxe. Warmoth Strat. Seagull Artist Portrait Acoustic.

"Well good God damn and other such phrases, I haven't heard a beat like this in ages!"
-Dan Le Sac Vs The Scroobius Pip
I'd look at the Taylor 114 CE (acoustic / electric). I just bought one new for around $ 850 USD. I played everything they had at GC in that price range, and to me, it sounded the best.
Can you get your hands on a Cole Clark Fat Lady 1 for that price? I would actually suggest going Australian made(Maton or Cole Clark) over import. The prices of imported guitars are generally a lot higher due to the cost of import and exchange rate.

As for humidity, I have no idea what the climate or geographical area is like. Your safest bet is to get a Hygrometer(an instrument that measures relative humidity in the air) from your local hardware store.
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
I'm very happy with my Seagull 25th Anniversary edition, in solid spruce and solid mahogany. It'd probably fall within your price range. (I say "probably," as I know it would fall well within your budget in the US, but I have no idea what guitar prices and/or availability are like in Australia.)

If you can't find a 25th Anniversary edition, one of Seagull's solid wood series (SWS) guitars would be about as good. To a fair extent, they're based on the 25th Anni. edition. Again, in the US, one would fall within your budget.

If Seagulls don't do it for you, it's no trick to find a mint condition, used, Martin D-16GT, in the price range you've mentioned. Some would maintain that the D-16GT is the least expensive "real" Martin. I don't choose to argue the point. It's a great guitar. Sound and feel are excellent. Personally, I don't like the fact that although the top is glossy, the back and sides are not. But hey, that's just my personal aesthetic bias, and you may not happen to share it.

I'm not nearly as familiar with used low end Taylors or with Epiphone Masterbilt guitars, but I'd think they would be worth your consideration. For that matter, a used 03 series Larrivee might fall within your budget, and plenty of people love Larrivee.

As for humidification, most acoustic guitars should ideally be maintained at 45-55% relative humidity. Buy a hygrometer and find out what the humidity level is in the room where you plan on keeping the guitar. If it's substantially lower than that (higher seems unlikely), buy a humidifier. Preferably, a room (or house) humidifier.

These tend to work better than case humidifiers, they don't require you to keep the guitar in a sealed case all the time, and both people and wood furniture can reap their benefits while the guitar's being kept happy.

Finally, bear in mind that tone and feel can sometimes be very easily and inexpensively improved. So don't automatically reject an otherwise great guitar, just because it would benefit from a set-up or some new strings.

Good luck with your guitar search. Don't forget to let us know what you wind up buying.
i would agree with captivate.

maton or cole clark are some of your best bets.

a while ago when i was looking for my guitar, i read a review on a blueridge guitar. so if you see any of those, definitely pick it up and give it a strum. they're made in china, and anyone who thinks it's poor clearly hasn't played one
Schecter Diamond Series C-1 Elite
Roland Cube 30x
Blueridge BR-143