I very pleased with the A101 I got from Robb's.
The guitar was advertised as a demo, but there really were no major cosmetic issues. The only thing I have found are a few pick marks that can only be seen in certain angles, and what I believe is a finish crack near the about 1/4 inch in from the 'waist' of the guitar on the bass side.
There is no evidence of any external trauma, so I'm pretty certain it is a finish crack, which does not bother me at all. To be safe, I will have the guitar tech check it out when it goes in for a setup in a week.
I am going to have the action lowered to 'fingerstyle' standards, and I am also having a bone nut and saddle installed. The tusq adds a bit of edginess to my ears, and I think bone will warm up the tone a bit.
When I first played the guitar I though it sounded remarkebly like the Lowden I sold to get it (a Newtownards O25c). I loved that guitar, and its sounds, but its sale was a strategic one in that it allowed me to get this guitar and see if I prefer cedar/mahogany to cedar/rosewood.
In addition, the rest of the proceeds from the O25c sale allowed me to put a deposit on an OM I am having built by a luthier here in the US. After I'm done getting that guitar built, then I can move on to the next one, which will certainly be cedar / rw or mahogany. Maybe I'll end up keeping the Avalon, or getting a custom A101 or A201 with a wider neck and a cutaway, or maybe I'll do something completely different. But owning this guitar now, and playing it, will help me figure out which tonewood (RW or mahogany) I like with cedar. The price on this guitar didn't hurt either
The bass seems to have a bit more punch than the O25, and is almost as deep.
The neck profile is very comfortable.
The guitar came in a Hiscox case with nice grey fur on the inside. The guitar fits inside nice and tight.
My only complaint is that the fretboard has dot inlays on it. They serve no purpose and I think the guitar would look much better and more elegant with a blank fretboard. (If I keep this guitar forever I may have them removed and ebony inlaid in their place - effectively blanking the fretboard
Also, the bridge pins that came on the guitar seem to be the cheap plastic variety. However, this is easily and cheaply remedied and I'll probably just install some rosewood pins. Really, this is no big deal.
I don't think I have given up too much in switching from the Lowden to the Avalon. I'm very happy with this guitar and sure I will only get happier once the guitar tech has set it up to suit my playing style.