"Incredible Martin for sound and playability, not so much for looks."
This guitar sounds incredible as-is, and very, very good when plugged in or mic'ed. Traditional Martin "booming sounds" at a price thata allows for people with low-budget and/or little experience to learn on a truly fine instrument.
Obviously, this is a bare bones guitar (what you'd expect for the price in many ways) and the absence of attractive inlays on the fingerboard, binding, or organic material on the backs ad sides are sorely missed. However, the satisfaction that I get when I hit a difficult section in a piece of music that I'm learning to play makes up for the stripped appearance.
Ease of Use:
Transitioning from electric to an accoustic made me start again, learning what the instrument may or may not be able to do took a few very enjoyable hours spread over 2-3 afternoons.
The backs and sides are some sort of synthetic "wood," and the neck is a composit of several different types of wood. This ade me feel very uneasy... until I played it! The solid sitka spruce top with Martin's patened support frame make this a truly enjoyable axe to leard on.
How do I answer this question? I have had no dealings with this company.
Incredible sound, very comfortable to play, at a cost that people with other responsibilities can gladly pay. The advances that I have made in learning about playing the guitar went ahead in leaps and bounds when I got myself a quality instrument. Thanks Martin!!
The Wow Factor:
Guys who suck at playing their instruments are unappealing... I think my "sexy factor" has benefitted much, much more because I have an instrument that makes MUSIC, as opposed to those guys who want to get a guitar because it looks good.
I hope the next time I buy an accoustic, it will be a step or two up the Martin line (provided they sound as good or better than my intro model.