Sound — 10
I'm playing mostly metal, thrash and stuff. This guitar doesn't look like it was built for something so aggressive, but I find it perfectly usable. If you ignore the looks (or just take the satin black version), there's basically nothing it lacks for metal playing. As far as the sound goes, I find it versatile enough for me. I don't play much of anything else except metal, but to my ears, it gives a nice range of sounds - especially with the coil splitting option. If you want something very aggressive you may consider putting in some active pickups, but other than that, I don't find it lacking in this area either. I haven't yet tried it through a full tube amp so I can't comment on that, but it sounds pretty great through a Vox VT30, MicroCub and Boss ME-25 (both alone and through the MicroCube). The sustain on this guitar is great and I can really hear the difference from my old one.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar looks and feels like it was made for rock to hard rock, but as I'd said, it works perfectly for me for metal. I think it's a pretty good value for the money - I had tried out about a dozen different guitars from different brands before buying, from the most famous ones such as Ibanez and Schecter to Cort, Kramer, Vintage... My rating for this guitar is quite high, in fact I don't think you can buy anything even close to it in the price range - but that's the category I'm rating it in. It's not a top-quality instrument and don't try comparing it with a high-end ESP or Gibson, but for a beginner or simply someone on a budget, I think it's a great guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 8
It's a bit too early for me to say, but the guitar itself seems very sturdy. It feels like the tuners will be the first to go if anything goes, the pots and the pickups selector would probably go next. All in all, it's probably not a guitar you'd beat all the time and expect it to stay like new - but it's such a beautiful instrument I don't see why you'd want to do it anyway :)
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was quite poorly set up when I bought it (new). The action was so-so; passable on the 6th string but quite high on the 1st. The intonation was way off and even worse, the bridge barely had enough room to move the saddles of some strings enough. The neck was bowed quite heavily. But those are all quite easily fixed and if your store includes the setup in the price - even better :) Also, that's where any flaws end. The finish was absolutely perfect, all parts were firmly in place and nicely fit. Personally, I wish the neck was a bit thinner, but even as it is I find it quite comfortable to play on.
Features — 10
Mine was made in Indonesia, couldn't find which year. It has 22 frets on a rosewood fretboard, mahogany neck and body. The body is thinner than a typical Les Paul, much more similar to a Strat - which I actually find to be a good thing because it makes the guitar less heavy in spite the fact it's all mahogany. It feels very solidly built, nothing is loose, all lines and the finish is absolutely tidy. The M520 comes in a few different finish types, and mine is tobacco sunburst, showing the wood underneath. The top is carved and the lines of this guitar are very beautiful in my opinion; it's a mix between Les Paul and Strat shape, with the bottom of the body round and a bit wide like the LP and the double cutaway top with two horns similar to strat. The binding is ivory and it has a set-in neck. I find it comfortable to hold. The bridge is a licensed tone-pros, with two passive humbuckers, "MightyMite Bluesbuckers", chrome-plated. I was very surprised at the quality of these - compared to my other guitar with SD SH4 and SH2, it holds up quite well. There is a difference, but these give both nice cleans on the neck and a decently high output in the bridge. One thing I don't like is it has only two pots - one is for volume and the other one is for tone but also serves as the coil-split control. The Switch selector is the Standard three-way in the LP style but placed near the volume/tone controls. Much more convenient placement in my opinion. Die-cast tuners, no brand specified. This is probably the weakest part of the overall hardware. I find them overly sensitive. It comes with two allen keys (for adjusting the truss rod and two screws on the bridge) and an audio cable, a cheap variant. My major complaints with the features of this guitar would be the tuners and the fact it only has two pots, but in this price range I really don't think it's something to complain about. On a guitar two times the price of this one, I'd find those to be significant flaws, but not here.