Wow, that's tragic. It sounds like you're looking for an electric. Based on a lot of what I've seen, in the sub-$1k/over-$400 there are quite a few really good options. Please excuse the Musician's Friend links… There's the new ESP F-2E - neck-through w/ LFR trem. The Forest body shape isn't everyone's cup of tea, though. The body itself is a unique lamination of mahogany, what looks like a thin layer of maple and some variety of Asian Ebony - very likely Malaysian Blackwood (Diospyros ebonasea) rather than Macassar Ebony (Diospyros celebica) - Macassar would demand a price three-times what ESP's asking. $530. The Ibanez S520EX (I had been looking at one of these for myself before I started building my own…). The ZR trem on this arguably the best trem available (subjective, of course). $599. Another one that's killer is the Schecter C-1 Hellraiser FR. Neck-through, active EMGs, Original Floyd Rose tremolo, and a choice of three different finishes. $849. This is available for $150 less if you don't need a trem. Just some suggestions. The SZ-series and RG-series you mentioned in your post definitely have a well-deserved following, so you could do a lot worse than them.