Well, to answer the first question we must look at a variety of factors. One of the largest being the materials used in the construction of the instrument, whether the body/neck are laminated or solid wood, as well as the type and quality of that wood. The quality of the hardware and, on electric instruments, the pickups and electronics, also factor into the overall price. Another factor in determining the price of an instrument would be how and where it was made, guitars made in the United States tend to cost more than those made overseas, and those made by hand tend to cost more than guitars made primarily by machine. Yet another factor in price can be the look of an instrument, relic, inlay or binding options, or simply the name on the headstock.
As to whether all those things that make an instrument so costly really matter to you or whether pricy instruments are worth every dollar they cost is a question that really only the buyer can answer for themselves. For many people that answer is yes, but just because an instrument is expensive doesn't always mean it's the best for you. Really great instruments can be found at most all price points, it just might take some looking. It’s yet another great reason to come in to Sylvan Music and try some instruments out, you might be surprised by the price of what you your fingers and ears like.