My Ibanez Jam Pack 100
I bought my first guitar last February, for my 54th birthday.
Although I had always thought it would be fun to learn to play, I had never seriously thought about getting a guitar. In a way this was kind of a spur of the moment purchase, although I did do some research beforehand.
I knew from my college days when I studied forestry that spruce was considered a superior wood for musical instruments. I have a piano with a spruce soundboard so I know how good the wood is. I did a bit of research on the internet for beginner acoustics. I right away determined that I was not going to spend three or four hundred dollars on something that might or might not turn out to be enjoyable, but $200 or so seemed reasonable.
I stopped by a local music store and looked around and finally asked a salesman if they had any good beginner guitars, and he showed me the Ibanez Jam Pack 100--a solid top acoustic guitar with a few accessories. He got one out of the box, tuned it up, and played a bit--it sounded nice enough to me so I bought it along with a Mel Bay beginning guitar book.
I am very happy with the guitar--it sounds pretty good, holds its tune well, and seems to be well-constructed. I am having a lot of fun learning although I am at the point where I probably need a teacher to help me progress and get me trying stuff that's difficult, which I naturally tend to avoid working on.