Seagull S6 ?
I think Nick brought up a great point. The way two people play any guitar will be different, it will sound different from both people, even if it is the same guitar.
If you take two guitars, of the same model, they will sound different. There is no real way to get two guitars to sound the same.
Reviews can only do so much also. I love the Seagull, but that doesn't mean anything really. Someone else could hate it, or so could you. Its all about how your hear it, and how you play it.
Also, to go back to the expensive guitars not being that great. I played a $2800 CDN Lavirree, with no intention on buying. The guy in the store just placed it in my hands. And you know what? It sucked. A total piece of junk. Finish problems, bad neck, dull sound, more intonation. Anybody who would buy that particular one, in my opinion, would have to be crazy. But you can come on here and people rave about those guitars, so obvisouly, I tried a bad one. That is something you have to look out for.
Vacate is the word...Vengance has no place on me or her...Cannot find a comfort in this world.
I have 0 experience compared to the others that have posted, but I do have a Seagull S6GT. I've been playing since January, and the Seagull is my second guitar. I initially purchased a Yamaha Gigmaker with a F325. I'm glad I took the route I did, because the Yamaha was inexpensive, and doesn't offend me. Maybe my ears are not as sensitive as they will be in a year. I got GAS, and did research on the Seagull, and then went to a few shops one Saturday and played a ton of different guitars, side by side. I probably wouldn't have noticed a difference, had I played them seperately. I really liked the sound of the Taylor 110, but liked the feel of the Seagull better, and the extra $150 in my pocket. Anyway, I had thoughts of really laying out some cash on my "final" guitar, I'm glad I didn't. I love my Seagull, right now. I still love my Yamaha. I have a lot of development left, and may find in the future that there is another guitar that will fit my playing better. At least I hope so. Anyway, in the relative range of the cost of guitars, $500 is high entry level/beginning intermediate level guitar. Since you can't go to a store and play, you are going to have to base your decision on something. If the sound clips will help, that's great. You can go to the manufacturers website and compare differences in features, or how they are built. Find something that will help you, besides the reviews, make your decision. And, know that you will be asking the same question in the not so distant future about a new better guitar! Good Luck
I'd still say find something that you can try locally. Some stores (in some countries) will order an instrument for you and not force you to buy it if you don't like it. That's another way to try out a guitar that might not be readily available.
Maybe a better approach on this site would be to list what local brands/models are available, and ask for opinions on those. As long as you don't go by somebody else's "opinion" instead of your own judgement after playing, there's notthing wrong with asking for opinions.
Those other guitars that are not available can wait for when you can visit Mandolin Brothers in Staten Island, NY :)