Epiphone Hummingbird, or Dove are pretty good guitars at their price. But there is a thread where you can view good guitars for under $300 that might interest you.
Personally, it's my Seagull. The only reason being my large hands that require a large fretboard. As far as getting the absolute most for your money, I'd look toward the Epiphone Masterbilt series. As far as action, fit, and finish, they go very far.

However, I wouldn't put your money into something you haven't played. Honestly, the choice is up to you. Do your homework, play as many guitars as you can, and make an informed decision.

Here's some reviews to my favorite model of the Epiphone Masterbilt series: http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Acoustic+Guitar/product/Epiphone/Masterbilt+AJ500R/10/1
Sincerely, Chad.
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Blueridge BR-140 or BR-160 if you can find one used.
Epiphone Masterbilt
Parkwood 310M

These are all solid wood tops and solid wood back and sides.

Epiphone Hummingbird, Taylor 110 & some of the seagull models are laminate back and sides.
Last edited by Guitar Hack at Mar 29, 2008,
Perhaps the Taylor 110. I like the way it feels compared to the Masterbilt lines. So much of this is personal preference though, you really need to just go do some extensive testing.
I'm not a fan of facts. You see, the facts can change, but my opinion will never change, no matter what the facts are. - Stephen Colbert

love my 110 got it used and love it however i would have a hard time buying it at retail price

Got mine in gentle used condition at a far better deal than the price it carries brand new. i would save up for a 300 series and actually i am but thats just me. As far as build quality and such yeah taylor guitars are at the top of my list.

Seagull makes fine insturments as well i play my father in laws every weekend not the same tone as a taylor (wich does it for me personall preference) but you get a lot of guitar for the money an excellent value so to say
here's what i would avoid.
taylors under the 300 series
martins with HPL

taylors arent really worth the money you pay. you get laminate while paying such a high price.

HPL is esesntially what you make kitchen countertops out of in the texture of drywall.

ibanez gets VERY mixed reviews. i've heard everything from "their amazing" to... "my electronics dont work from factory and i get a horrid amount of fret buzz"

I would personally recommend a Seagull. my brother just bought the Seagull 25th anniversary edition with Flamed maple sides and back. it is an amazingly well built guitar. very versatile in sound, and blows the competition away. he got it for $500, and it definitely sounds better than a lot of $800 guitars i've played. it also stays in tune well. i dont think i've had to do any major tuning adjustments for the last week.