Several years ago when I paid through the nose for my original '55, I just said it cost about the same as my wife's new mini van. It sounds like, with the trade, you got off easier where the liquid funds are concerned but excelled in the value dept. My wife's vehicle has held some value due to the inventory shortage, but has still declined for the most part. These vintage guitars are a better investment - for now anyways.
I’ve been playing vintage guitars since the early 90s - lost on a few and won on a few, but it’s all about the ride. I definitely play these guitars and record with them, too.
Thanks for all the lovely comments, everyone! I have a few more pics I’ll post tomorrow