Im thinking of buying a guitar for my husband for his birthday. He would be beginner level...he played a long time ago but nothing in a long time. I was looking at the Ibanez acoustics... Anybody know a good entry level...I want to spend $300 or less.
You might check your local pawn shops, sometimes they have really nice stuff for very reasonable prices. You have to be more cautious though. I am not sure which brands are best but a Fender is pretty decent (I have heard) although a gibson is the best if you can afford one. I know nothing about the Ibanez brand. Good luck finding something good. :)
Ibanez is a good brand, but a guitar is a very personal thing. Why not give him a gift certificate at the store instead. If he does have an affinity for playing, he will really need to feel the guitar. One $10,000 Gibson is not worth 2 cents if the symmetry with the player isn't there. My husband has a Martin that's warped and dried out but it sounds just awesome when he plays it. While he loves his custom made hollow-body blues electric, when he's in the mood for ballads, it's the beat-up Martin that comes out.
Dean is by far the best brand I've ever played and I finally got my hands one my own this year. They sound amazing. Most people don't go back to another brand after owning a Dean. Very popular with famous bands. I agree with the above poster. A guitar is a very personal thing, indeed. You actually build a relationship with it as dumb as it sounds.
Here are some of Dean's guitars: Dean Guitars - The Finest Guitars in the World
They have starter kits, too.
You can call your local Guitar center or Sam Ash and they can order one for you if they don't have it in stock.
If the guitar doesn't have a built-in tuner, consider grabbing one (electric). If not, this is the best online tuner I've found: http://www.hotfrets.com/tuner.asp
And now, I've gotta show you my Dean.LOL
I've been drooling over this guitar for close to a decade and my husband surprised me with it on my birthday this year.