I always used to listen to people who'd write dissertations on why Gibson sucked and why Agile was so amazing and better, and as such, I bought half a dozen of mid-range guitars that I really liked. I decided in the end to take a leap and bought a LP Traditional, and yes, it is much better than I expected it to be. Just try one and see, if you don't like it, don't buy it, but in the end, what anything is worth is going to be subjective and will be relative to the amount of disposable money you have and your interest in having a stellar guitar.
I have guitars from every price range, up to a LP traditional, and I always go back to my faded SG, which isn't necessarily a very low end guitar but isn't anything wonderful either. I also have a modified Yamaha pacifica that gets a surprisingly big amount of play time. There's nothing wrong with a cheap guitar.
I've had around a hundred gigs and never used any backup amp. Never had a problem, though I almost did once. Not that I'd necessarily suggest it, but I'm not worried at all about not having a backup amp.
I own the Octa Capture and I looove it, I am a big fan of the auto sense feature. It helps me save a lot of time. However, you have to make sure you hit the source very loud so that it doesn't clip while you record, but you get used to it pretty fast. I've used it a lot in band situations and I have never needed to adjust the auto sense afterwards. As for the analog inputs, why do you need them?
The boss bypasses are the sole reason there is no way in hell I'm putting one of them in my sound chain. I own an RC-2, and it's pretty cool, but when I use it, it's going straight into the PA, not in my guitar chain.
Also, that reverb pedal and "Authentic spring reverb" don't compute. While I'm not a fan of a lot of their work, BOSS have some decent pedals. This, sadly, is not one of them. I found the Digitech Hardwire to be muuuuch superior. I have an old EHX Holy Grail Plus that I really like, too.
900$ better is subjective. It also depends on the specific guitar.
My 200$ Pacifica that I modified a bit feels much better than my Musicman Silhouette that costs 1.6k to me. However, my 2.3k Les Paul Trad feels muuuuuuuuuuuch better than my 900$ Studio. It's all in the specific guitar and your perception.
Awesome dude, I feel like I play stuff that is a little bit heavier then what you are playing (like i said, all time low, mayday parade, yada yada). Would it work well for that sort of thing too?
I don't know to be honest. My main amps aren't the heaviest amps ever, I mostly use an Orange ad30 and a Marshall 6100lm. They both get fizzy quite easily, but the point where I stop getting a crunchy clean and start getting an overdrive depends on the guitar. With the '57s, it happens faster than with, say, my telecaster. I believe they'll do anything, though, they have sounded extremely good with everything I've thrown at them.
They have more than enough for me (Shit I meant my signature, not my profile, hahaha oops)
I don't have any clips of them, but the songs you can hear on my Bandcamp have been recorded with my SG, which has Wolfetone pickups that in the end sound kind of similar to it. (there's also a telecaster in the mix, though).
The 57 are MUCH better. I personally can't stand the 490/498 pickups, I had them in my SG and had to kick them out. I have 57s in my Les Paul though, and they sing. I've also played some SGs with '57s and they sounded amazing. It's a no brainer to me.
One of the, if not the best strat I've ever played was a Squier Bullet, so you never know what you might find. The pacifica rec is a very good idea as well, going to +1 it, started off with one, so did my brother (I had the 012 and he had the 112). 8 years later, I'm still playing on the 112 after modding it heavily, the neck feels very similar to the one on my Musicman Silhouette. One of the best low priced guitars on the market.
I considered building one a few months ago, but then I realized it would be too expensive, as I wanted a nice finish, nice wood and some binding, and I had a tag of over 1.5k without the electronics. They do look like they're worth it, though.
I got Schallers on my SG, but I actually dislike the Schaller locks, and I've been using Dunlop exclusively since my last 3 or 4 guitars, so I'd suggest them instead (and they're much cheaper, at least they are here... half the price of the Schallers).
I'd save a tiny bit more if I were you and get a Fenderr Mexican strat or tele... These would be extremely good for you. The Squier classic vibes can be pretty awesome too. I don't have anything against the Epiphone LPs, they can be amazing guitars, but they beg for some mods, which can raise the price tag quite a bit.
I recommend that pedal too, I've also got the custom shop decal one. I'm using it for every solo I want, it really gives some extra beef to my lead sound and a real singing voice too. It works as a standalone mild distortion I'd say.
I don't think the pedal has changed much with being a "regular" model. I wish they changed the LEDs...
I bought a MXR GT-OD back when it had a custom shop decal and I still use it as much. It's one of my favorite pedals and can be used as a boost and as a standalone light gain pedal. Highly recommended, been using it for 5 years.