#1
Anyone know off hand of an acoustic brand/model good for playing leads (easier feel, bendable strings, etc.), as well as open tuning/slide stuff. Or is it basically one or the other, since (I assume) open tuning and slide playing is better suited on a bigger neck, higher action, thicker strings, etc.

I've never owned an acoustic guitar so I know nothing about the brands other than the fact that some are well known and expensive. I don't need anything fancy, I'd like to only spend $300 - $500 if possible. But if it turns out to get what I want I'll need to spend more then I can bend a bit.

Thanks!

p.s. There's a Walden Natura 550 for sale around my parts, anyone know anything about those in terms of my criteria?
#2
Easy feel and bends imply skinny strings, and that doesn't go well with a typical flattop for slide. Most flattops don't have a very strong high end response, so slide can sound pretty limp-wristed on them. There is also the question of set up - most players fairly new to slide would want a higher action than is comfortable for fretting, so some kind of compromise is needed there.

Here's a couple of suggestions:

Look at National style resonator (biscuit bridge) guitars - Regal, Gretsch or Republic, for example. They are good for slide, and many don't sound bad for conventional playing. This should give you some ideas:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Resonators.gc

Cedar-topped flattops sometimes have a good high-end response suitable for slide. Here's an example in a make I think is good:

http://www.guitar.com.au/guitars/acoustic/tanglewood/tw28csnce.html