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.


p.s. There's a Walden Natura 550 for sale around my parts, anyone know anything about those in terms of my criteria?
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:


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