I'm an experienced guitar and mandolin player, mostly playing bluegrass. I've been fortunate to own some really nice vintage and modern instruments, so I understand the importance of a quality guitar. I am selling some of my other instruments so I will have several thousand dollars available.
I started listening to Django several years ago and right away I loved the music. I always thought I would like to learn some of that, and I have finally decided the time has come. I bought Denis Chang's Art of Accompaniment DVD and have started working on the rhythm part and it's coming along. I'm currently playing on a vintage Martin D-18. Since I have some money available I've started looking at getting a new guitar. Here are some more considerations. I like some non-Gypsy jazz, but it mostly tends to be acoustic: I love Frank Vignola's stuff, some of Martin Taylor's acoustic stuff, Eddie Lang, etc. I love Joe Pass's Virtuoso recordings. I do like John Pizzarelli, and I'm a fan of Charlie Christian. At this point I'm not a huge fan of people like Metheny or fusion sounding stuff.
I've spent a lot of time on the Djangobooks site looking at guitars and videos. I have to say the La Fee really speaks to me. I love the looks, the sound, and the whole concept of it. My concern with an instrument like this would be resale value if I ever decided it wasn't for me. First, it's a small shop that's not as well known as someone like Dupont. Second, it's non-traditional. People getting into Gypsy Jazz tend to want a guitar that looks like Django's. So part of me says I should go for something like a Dupont Nomade, MD-100, or even MD-50. I think I could easily sell something like that in the future. The downside is that it may not be quite as versatile for non-Gypsy Jazz as the La Fee.
The other thing I would consider is getting an F hole archtop modeled after something like an early Gibson L5. I have seen a Gibson reissue in the same price range as the above guitars. I know it's not the traditional Gypsy Jazz guitar but it seems that music would sound pretty good on it and it would be right at home with other jazz styles. I love the youtube videos with Julian Lage playing his.
I'm realistic enough to know that this may just be a fad and not something I stick with, so I don't want to be stuck with an expensive niche instrument that I can't sell. I may just take what I can learn and throw it in the next time Sweet Georgia Brown, Lady Be Good, or Minor Swing come up in our bluegrass jam!
Thanks for your time reading my long and rambling thoughts!