Yeah, I already have a MIM strat with lace sensors (gold) I put in last year. It sounds pretty good and should be good enough for what it does until I finish school. That being said, I want another guitar that has humbuckers so that I can get a little grittier tone for metal and harder stuff (I actually get stellar tone out of the strat but any excuse I can make to get another guitar works in my favor ). I've looked at some Ibanezs and Jacksons and I'm not against any of them though I am confused on the model numbers and its hard to tell which ones are decent. I would probably use this guitar for playing shred and the like. Another option I'm not against is getting an Epiphone Les Paul but I can't remember which ones are the crappy ones and which ones are good. So, do you guys have any recommendations off the top of your head?
shredding and the like eh? you should consider esp/schecter. i like the c-1 hellraiser. of course that is 650 new but you could find a good used one for about 400.
^ i agree with that lad

if you go for an ESP though, stay away from anything under the 400 series, but i think that might be out of your price range.