Do you think I should buy cheap (<$300) guitars from big brands, or just buy from a smaller, but reasonably well known brand? Are Agile guitars good? Any suggestions would be helpful too! I've only played a cheap acoustic so far (2 years).
Well maybe just get a practice electric, just to get you into it, like a Stagg or Agile. But if you're experienced with a guitar and you're gonna keep going then get a decent one.
well the easiest to get, which you can get pretty cheap is a good old stratocaster, a really all round guitar. i got it about £180, ($360) for a all right one, medium quality. good luck with your guitar then
Option 2 by far.

Do you need to buy an amp?
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Quote by utsapp89
^I'd let a pro look at it. Once you get into the technicalities of screws...well, it's just a place you don't want to be, friend.
get a Jackson JS20 or 30, they are the least expensive and play amazing... I own a Jackson JS20 Dinky and it play well. I've been thinking of upgradding to a Jackson RR3 or RR5, but not sure... But if you want a good cheap guitar and are willing to pay 200-300 Jacksons the way to go...
dont know bout agile guitars, but for less than 300 $ you can get a squier or an epiphone (sg, lp100), that should do fine. My first electric was an ex-demo strato-like jackson; i never got aware of the model but i paid it 250 euros and it was very well-finished with good machine heads and wilkinson bridge. you can get cheap and good looking guitar from Tenson or Cox too. for sure an epiphone would be a much more valuable purchase than many other brand's.

all in all..

1-try before buying, even hours if you're not sure. try the pickup switch, the volume n tone knobs, the jack plug, machine heads, tuning pegs and strap pegs. make sure the finish wont come off in two months. its more important for your first guitar to be well made and comfortable than sounding beautifully. frets should be as thick as possible

2-dont buy roling's!
my buddy got a '95 MIM tele (thats made in mexico; considered better than asian made, but not as good as american made) for $250 shipped. i recently got a sx tele for $135 shipped. his is overall nicer than mine (duh) but if i were to put another $125 (that equates to bill lawrence brand pickups and decent tuners) into mine id much MUCH rather have the sx (unifinished ash looks better than black painted alder!).

agile/sx are very good for the money. i think sx are the most good for modding; not necessarily for beginners (frets are rough and the tuners are shoddy are my main complaints). especially if you have the money to get a better guitar.

i recommend a < $300 agile lp copy (if thats what you want to spend).
Thanks for all the tips! The amp is not under that budget, but i still wont be able to buy a very good amp if i go for a not-cheap guitar!

Do sites like musician's friend and zzounds ship outside the US? (just asking)
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Quote by ratmblink123
Good for you. Have a cookie.

But really... there's no cookie. And if there was, you wouldn't get one.
You can get an Agile LP copy (AL-2000 I think), and a Vox AD15VT Valvetronix for $200 each, so $400 for both amp and guitar. Or, you can get an Epiphone G-400 SG, if you don't like LPs. It's $300 though, which leaves less budget for an amp.

And what kind of music do you play? If you play metal, a Roland Cube 30x would be better than the Vox.

And to Shabalaba, what's up with stealing Scourge's old avatar?