I'm still very much a noob, and have just upgraded from my first guitar, which was/is a new Martin 000X1. Bought from Guitar Center a couple years ago. I chose the X1 because it sounded much better and was more comfortable to play than the other entry level guitars in the $450-$500 price point. I borrowed my brother's 1973 Martin D18, and I still thought my X1 sounded better. I played both instruments to my girl friend with her back turned, so she couldn't tell which instrument I was playing, and she said the X1 sounded better.
I've since upgraded to another Martin, which I suspect will be the last guitar I'll ever buy, and I plan on selling my X1. I really love that X1 and think it is an excellent instrument for the price. That's just my humble, nooby opinion though.