I'd be interested to know what Schechter guitars are like, they make 7 strings you see. Nobody's heard of them so people don't buy them to be trendy, should save you some money. I'm sure big makers like Fender, Ibanez, Gibson etc like to make their cheaper guitars less well than they could to boost the market for their flagship models. That said I like my Ibanez RG 550 but the fretboard's a bit uncomfortable (why do they make those frets so wide?).
As for Amps mine's a Gallien Krueger ML250, it sounds like God might play/make them, just goes to show a famous name isn't everything. Sadly I've had problems with it but I bought it second hand and the owner may have fed it beer or something.
If I couldn't laugh at myself how could I laugh at someone less ridiculous?