#1
has anyone tried both? i wanna put sperzels and bareknuckles on anyway so i dont need prs ones..are the woods all that different?
#2
I've tried the SE Custom and the CE-24, which is the lower end high end PRS (hehe). And of course the woods are different. USA ones are of a higher grade and are hand selected. But if you plan to replace the pickups and tuners, which I find are the two major components lacking of the SE, then it will be a very solid guitar. But of course it cannot compare to a real PRS. Carved top, bird inlays, good tremolo, versatility, and ten top will all be gone.
#3
IMO night and day.

The feel of a real PRS is alot diff. then the SE models. Its kinda tough to play bad on a PRS, the same quality, feel, and plyability are not even close.
#4
The real thing will be better, but the SE will be good too, especially with upgrades.
Be sure you try before you buy tho. Tried the SE some time ago, was surprised at how weird the neck profile felt to my hands (personal tho).
Gear
Gibson Les Paul std faded, Godin LG
Marshall jcm900
Keeley ds1, maxon od808, boston tu500, RMC Wizard