The argument in favor of hard cases vs. gig bags
In shopping for a Tele, I was considering the 1952 Reissue in butterscotch. But at $1225 street price, I was hesitant. Then my buddy Lance turned me on to Music One Workshop in Montana. Larry Miltech is a Fender Gold Certified tech. After a couple of phone conversations with him, he fixed me up with a new Made-In-Mexico Tele, also a 50's reissue. On Larry's recommendation I ordered brass bridge pieces to replace the stock chrome ones, and he with compensating bridge pieces. He also replaced the stock bridge pickup with a Fender Nocaster Reissue pickup. To top it off, he did a great setup on it, including stringing it up to my specs. Add shipping & handling with the included gig bag and the total was $833.50, for a very fine guitar at 2/3 the price of the fancy-dancy one. And let me tell you, the Mexicans do know how to make a guitar.
I packed the van up for a gig, and the load, as they say, shifted. When I opened the rear hatch, the tele fell out to my feet. When unsheathing it inside, I discovered the divot shown above. A hard case is definitely on my to-do list.