Yep, I wanna discuss this. I believe what we typically refer to as "high fret access" should really be called something along the lines of "high fret comfort". I think "access" implies that if the shape of the heel isn't contoured you simply wont be able to physically reach the high frets, or at least that it will be difficult. As if the guitar says "ACCESS DENIED" and you can't play your song. Personally I have not found this to be the case. There is nothing in the 15-22 fret range that I can play on my Ibanez that I can't play on my Gibson. It is just a smoother ride with the Ibanez. It's not like the Gibby in any way restricts access to any of the frets. Didn't seem like Vai had any problems on PaW either before the "all access" neck-joint was introduced. Stick a Les Paul in Shawn Lane's hands and he could still do his signature wide-intervallic phrases. I could list others. So it seems to me that insisting on "great high fret access" is really not as important to the actual playing of the guitar than just how comfy and sleek it may look. Now I'm starting to realize I bought into the opposite thinking when I bought my Ibanez. I was so impressed with the comfort of the high fret range that I ignored many other aspects of the guitar. So, what about you guys? If you take a guitar with by definition great high fret access and compare it to one with by definition poor high fret access will you be able to play anything on the first that you can't play on the latter? Would you be turned off by a guitar that was great in every other way, but happened to have a bulky neck joint?