Yeah, I get it. I have read this over the years on The Gear Page, and I don't have any reason to believe that it's not true. I just personally wouldn't be confined to such an approach, because whether a guitar is great is mostly a subjective determination that you can only make once it's in your hands. Looks are important to me, but it's only part of the equation. When I was on a quest for a Historic, I played countless guitars over a several month period both locally and whenever I was on the road. I played some great looking ones that I didn't want to pay up for, and some great players that I just didn't like the finishes, and then also a ton of dogs. I did find a few viable candidates locally but I really didn't want to buy new. Your quest will also be more difficult because you are only considering new guitars? Unless you only play in your bedroom, guitars aren't going to stay perfect and in my view it's not worth it to pay a premium for a near perfect guitar just to have it dinged and scratched over time. I'm very careful with my guitars, but you put 4 people in close quarters and it's just going to happen, there's no way around it. And then I got kind of obsessed with gold tops which frankly makes it a lot easier because you can't nit-pick the finish to death. I had narrowed it down to 2 choices and then a local shop took in a 2003 R7 on a trade that I played and knew instantly this is the one. My point is I wouldn't rule out finding a great guitar locally, especially if you're willing to consider pre-owned instruments. I've done this a few times and coincidentally (or not), I ended up bonding a lot more with the used ones I bought because of how they played and felt in my hands than the new ones I bought because they were aesthetically the best candidates. But there's certainly no losers in the group.