A friend of mine is interested in getting a guitar for her grandson's graduation gift and asked for my help. She has yet to ascertain his overall musical preferences, whether to buy acoustic or electric, nor has she set budget for the gift. We have lots of time.

Still, I want to get ahead of the curve. I suspect her budget will be between $500-1000. I know my own personal preferences, but I want to get input beyond my perceptual blinders.

He has been playing a beater starter guitar for some time now, and it's nearly dead. She wants him to have a "lifetime" quality guitar to replace it.

So, what guitars in the $500-1000 price range- acoustic or electric- would you recommend?