Sound — 10
I play alternative, punk, rock, and hard rock, and it plays fine for those kind of music. The guitar is very easy to play, and is great for the beginners and the experts alike. Since buying this guitar I've also gotten a Schecter Hellraiser, and I actually want to get rid of it and get a new ESP because of the great playability and feel of their guitars. Amps/effects I use: Spider III 15 watt amp, custom patches on my RP250. The guitar doesn't have any background noise, and has a pretty full sound.
Overall Impression — 10
The guitar is really good for any kind of music as I used to play heavy metal and now I've switched to Alternative, Punk, and Rock, and so it's a perfect match for me. The only regret I have is not asking the salesman at Sam Ash to throw in some picks. This guitar really is a good guitar (especially for beginners), and it's very affordable (especially if you haggle for 20 minutes and get 15% off). If this guitar got stolen I would most definitely buy this guitar again (or maybe the ESP F-2E which is the same thing but nicer). I like everything about it except the little problem with the pickups. My favorite feature is definitely the playablity of this guitar. It's so easy to play it's hard to put down. Compared to my Schecter Hellraiser (a $1000 guitar with features that should have killed this guitar), I like this one a lot better. It's just so much easier to play, and it's lighter weight, and it's more comfortable to play. The only thing I wish this guitar had is a set-neck or neck-through-body setup, but if it had that it wouldn't be $180, now would it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Yes, this guitar will survive Live playing, it's pretty solid. I've dropped it plenty, hit my drummers cymbals with it, etc. and it still works perfect. The hardware has lasted a good 2 years, you just may need to resolder it. The strap buttons are pretty good, but you may want to invest in strap locks because every once in awhile the strap comes loose, but nowhere near as bad as my Schecter does. It's definitely a dependable guitar. I've never had any problems with it (after I resoldered the hardware of course). The finish is pretty good, I'm pretty rough with the guitar and the finish is just scratched up.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The action was set up pretty well, although I did lower the bridge after a few hours of playing. I don't really know how to adjust pickups, but they sound fine to me. The wires on the inside weren't properly soldered from the pickups to the socket where the chord goes in, so we had to open the back and resolder a few of the wires, but it wasn't really a big deal.