Looking for a decent mid range priced guitar, i'm flexable with the 500$ price. I'd prefer a martin or taylor, i'm no pro but i'd like a guitar that will motivate me to play more with its quality.
in the $500 range you can get better bang for the buck than martin or taylor.

try out some epiphone masterbilts, seagull, blueridge. If youre planning on plugging in check out some takamines.
Yamaha makes some good acoustics IMO. I've always been happy with them. They're pretty cheap, too.