So I've got $260 in hand right now, and I'll have around $50 more to add to that tomorrow, and I'm looking for a somewhat decent guitar for metal and all things associated with it. I've already got a HEAVILY modded Squier bullet strat, and it's not doing it for me. I've been looking into Dean, ESP, and Jackson. My eyes start to boil out of my skull when I look at Schecter because I'm too damn poor for one. I'd like to have either a V or Explorer shape, but I'm having trouble picking a brand, because I've played the low end Jacksons, ESPs, and Deans, and love them all. Help me please.
I would advise you to wait a while longer and save up more till you reach the $500 - 700 mark. It might take a while but what you get as apposed to the low range guitars is a lot better imo.

$ 300 bucks for a decent guitar? Only if it's second hand for that price. I was going to say the low range guitars in those brands are sh*t, with maybe Ibanez as an exception, but if YOU like it then that's all that matters.
With that kind of cash you should definitely be shopping on craigslist or kijiji. You'll get a lot more bang for buck there than you will buying and low end guitars from music stores
Bc rich or get one of the more "metal" looking agiles with emgs
My Gear:
BC Rich Gunslinger Retro Blade
Vintage V100 Paradise + SD Alnico Pro Slash APH-2's
1963 Burns Short Scale Jazz Guitar
Dean Performer Florentine
Bugera 6260
Orange Micro Terror + cab
Digitech Bad Monkey
Zoom G2G
Not worth going for anything new for $300 as it wont be any kind of upgrade from you're Squire. Best bet is to save up a little more and sus Craigslist or Ebay for a used mid range $600-700 Guitar. Also I would advise against Dean.
Caparison Angelus HGS, EMG 85/85 18V | Krank Rev1, JJ's | Mesa Recto Cab | Maxon OD808
By the way, if you're going to go schecter make sure you play one before you order it, ie; don't just grab it off ebay. Those guitars look great but they have a very thick neck and you might not like it compared to other metal guitars.
Dont forget pawn shops. Be careful cuz there are all kinds. Some are real rip-offs and some are gems. Talk to them and deal, and Definitely do walk out the first time. Be straight with them and tell them you are looking for something they really need to move and that you want a good discount.
It doesn't hurt to go to the mass market stores and milk them for info. If you're there on a slow day and you can get one of them talking you would be surprised how quickly you can tell if the guy knows what he's talking about. Occasionally they have some inexpensive guitars that really feel good. You might find something you like for cheap (I did.) Just playing with a $200, then a $700, then a $2000 then a $5000 really helps your perspective.
Quote by RetroGunslinger
Bc rich or get one of the more "metal" looking agiles with emgs

While higher end BC Rich guitars are fine, the lower end are usually REALLY bad.
Shecter Omen 6 with Seymour Duncan SH-6
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Fender Frontman 25r (crappy)
Digitech HardWire TL-2 Metal Distortion (Makes the amp sound not shitty)
I agree with the checking of pawn shops.

A someone once managed to grab an LTD Mh-1000 for about $350 in mint condition at a shop here in Toronto. I was 4 hours too late

Try looking on Craigslist. Kijiji is only for Canada as far as I know.
If you can look for LTD 300 series or LTD 400 series in your price range.

As for Ibanez and Jackson and others, look around and feel free to ask about anything you're not sure of.