From what I've heard, the INFs on this thing sound ripping. I have also been told more than once about how their stock pickups sound actually unique compared to most, but I can't really say just yet. Mainly when people own this guitar, they swap out the stocks for the active EMG 81/85 set. However, this guitar doesn't actually NEED actives to sound great, it's just a matter of preferance. Don't be scared to leave it stock.
With an Earvana compensated nut, an Edge III floating trem, three pickups, AND an abalone pickguard... who WOULDN'T give this guitar lower than a 9? It's absolutely beautiful, especially with the black hardware... you'll be getting complements from all sides.
Ease of Use:
From what I hear, it's completely user friendly. Unfortunately, that's only if you play on .009s and know your stuff about the trem. If you can handle those, everything else is a breeze... really.
I never really gave Ibanez a chance because I thought their look to be very... well... generic, honestly. I figured they'd sound just like any other standard-shaped guitar. However, I was SORELY mistaken. I finally broke and decided to sit down with one of these "beasts", and within minutes of runs I was entirely won over. The pickups sound brilliant, their D-shaped necks help you play with the speed of light (if that's what you're into...), and they look just plain amazing. I'm telling you, anything you'd expect from a guitar in this price range this monster delivers in spades. It is THE shred machine.
I can't say, I've yet to recieve mine (which I ordered yesterday.).
Simply put, it's a steal.
The Wow Factor:
I own it, and you should, too.
This is definitely an amazing axe for that discerning intermediate guitarist looking for a great quality product. Use common sense and treat this like you would any quality guitar, and it will carry you on it's back through the land of music for LIFE; with a little room for your audience...