Originally Posted by mdebo
And also on another note, if you decided to go with no tremolo, you won't know if you would ever like one because its extremely difficult to convert a guitar to tremolo if you dont have excellent precise woodworking skills with routers and drills. At least if you get the tremolo you have the option of the tremol-no to make it a "fixed bridge"
But it's still a pain in the arse for changing strings, and we've already established that the OP isn't going to get much use out of a trem as a rhythm player. Plus, if you ask me Floyds are just fugly on most guitars as well.
If I were in your shoes I'd look at Ibanez - they make the cheapest properly decent 7s you can buy IMO, really great quality, sound, style, feel, everything. They are incapable of making a guitar that sucks. However, as others have pointed out it's a good idea to try one because the necks are a matter of taste... I like them (and I have enormous hands) but they're very thin and wide so you might want to check them out before going ahead.
I have an Ibanez RG7321, I'm not sure if they make them anymore but they're plentiful on eBay, very cheap and make an ideal basis for upgrading because they're more than solid when stock. Great guitars.
ESPs are pretty nice, but I haven't got much experience with them. Same with Schecters. I've played a few but you need to get a higher-end one if you don't want to outgrow it. The Hellraisers and Blackjack ATX series are very nice, the ATXs in particular (