Sound — 8
I play mostly metal type music. Lots of different effects thru an old Zoom pedal and an old Carvin tube amp. I can honestly say that it plays great through any of these effects, even clean (not that I play it often) it makes a lot of noise through a flanger, but otherwise not too much noise. You could probably stand to replace the pickups, but assuming you bought this as a beginning guitar, you'll find they're more than adequate.
Overall Impression — 10
I play metal in my band, but I experiment freely in my spare time with all kinds of effects, and it's versatile enough to match any style pretty well. Based on the looks and the sharp tone, I'd reccomend it for metal over anything else, but anyone can play this guitar and love it. I love the action, the looks, and the fact that it stays playable as I get better. I also play a pretty nice Jackson, but I don't like the lower action or the fact that it has fewer frets. If this were lost or stolen, I would try and find the exact same guitar. I wouldn't try and upgrade at all (even if I had the money), as the high end models all use floyd rose tremolos, which are notorious pains in my ass. I do wish it had a trem, but I'm not into the floyd rose at all, so I've kept it the same. Beginner, or advanced on a budget, buy this guitar, now!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action was really f--king high on this guitar. Anyone used to playing a Jackson or some other low action guitar will probably have to make some adjustments. This was my first electric, and actually had a lower action than the acoustic I learned on, so I was fine with the action. The pickups were set perfectly. All the hardware has lasted overtime, and in 4 years, I've only made one minor bridge adjustment. I've had people who've been playing years longer than me on $700 guitars tell me it plays great.