I know it's all very personal choice.
I have upgraded my beginner acoustic to a better parlour guitar. Very Happy.
Now considering the same type of upgrade from my beginners Squire Mustang.
Still OK with it and could wait until my new Fender LT25 amp arrives in December, Surprise.
So my pared down list is Schecter Omen Extreme 6, ESP 256 Black Satin and finally G&L Asat deluxe in flamed maple, black. Budget £500 tops. All humbuckers with split coil.
Schecter and ESP aren't out and out rock/shred guitars but they do lean that way.
G&L aren't as widely promoted in the UK but a store has a heavily discounted guitar in a clearance sale at the moment. (£299 for a £450 guitar )
So for looks it is the ESP , price is definitely the Asat and I know I have picked one of each of the popular body styles.
Which do people see as the best clean, versatile guitar of those 3.
All for home use only and I will be a beginner for a long long time to come but hanging in there