Okay so far I have to say your collective advice that led me to
my 6 string Ibanez 1520, 7 string Ibanez 7620, and head (6505+) has been bang on! Let's keep the streak going......
So I am looking for an 8 string here's my criteria:
-slim neck (doesn't have to be slimmest but closer to the slim than fat side)
-shorter scale length (little worried that my small hands can't handle the extremely long side)
-500 to 800 US (open to used guitars in fact I prefer as I feel I get better bang for my buck and lose less if I turn around and sell)
I would like to stay away from models with unconventional pick up situations that might make swapping pick ups a pain.
Please let me know if there are any other factors that I should specify.
Oh and I prefer something that is on the easier side of things to find. So something crafted by a left handed hermit who uses designs he comes up with while on 3 day peyote benders from reclaimed wood from sunken ships while entertaining should be avoided.
Also, I would prefer the type of guitar that one would be likely to keep for a long time. I don't mind spending a bit more to avoid starting off with a guitar that will just be a stepping stone.
Ibanez iron label 8s?