It's been a long time since I have posted but I'm jonesing for another guitar. I recently purchased a 4th guitar for tonal variety beside my Gibby and my Fenders. I bought an Ampeg AMG100ch (think of a wood bodied Dan Armstrong) for slide guitar but found that I really didn't like it as much as I thought I was going to. It plays beautifully and stays in tune no matter what I threw at it but it was the little things that threw me. My main guitar is a 74' Alpine White LP Custom so in comparison, the Ampeg had dinky frets, narrower fretboard, tiny dot markers on the fretboard (yes, I'm gettin' old!) and no real visible fret markers on the neck. Due to the difference in the neck, I frequently have to look down to see where I'm at but with no neck markers...I'm lost. So, I decided I'm not 100% happy with it and I'm selling it and I also thought, why bother with anything else besides a Gibson, right?

So, looking for variation and wanting it as a back up for slide, I'm thinking either a Junior or a Special. I really, really like the Specials a bit more due to the additional neck pickup. In my research I have come across some items that have thrown me. I have seen...

Some have the older pearl button tuners, some have the traditional Les Paul Klusons
Some have unbound fretboards, some are bound
Some have full pickguards, some have half a pickguard
Most have dot markers but I just saw one that had small trapezoid markers
Most have full paint behind the headstock, a few have stinger paint behind the headstock
Most look to have 4 vol/tone knobs, the newer models have 2

I'm wondering why so much variation on such a simple guitar?

After looking all morning I really like the mid 2000's reissues. I'm not looking to spend more than $2000 so that prevents me from getting a vintage but still. I guess I'm looking for some advice. Is there a guru or website dedicated to the Special? If so, let me know because I haven't found it.