If you spend your money on a Taylor or a Martin, in either case you made a good choice. It's definitely a matter of personal preference. Both are guitars of excellence. The prices on each line are comparable. An $800 Taylor will be roughly equivalent to an $800 Martin in features and quality. Frankly, you can't go wrong.
There are other lines to consider. The only line that I would personally put up with the Martins and Taylors in the same price range is Blue Ridge. There are many other guitars to consider on the lower end of the scale. If you're getting a lower end Martin or Taylor (meaning under $1,000 - which is ridiculous to call that low end but both lines have guitars that greatly exceed that number), then you should also look at some other brands.
Ibanez makes some decent guitars, but the QC seems to be off. Some sound terrific and some sound awful - same models. Be sure to play before you buy. Takemine is a good guitar, but they don't seem to fit my hands very well. I like the sound for sure, and the quality seems good.
The primary largish brands I would consider other than Taylor or Martin are Blue Ridge and Seagull. To me, Seagull is a poor mans Taylor. I'd SERIOUSLY consider a Seagull if I were buying in the $300 to $600 range (American dollars). Blue Ridge isn't a poor man's anything. They are wonderful guitars with sounds that throw back to the 1950's Country scene.
But if your heart is set on a Martin or a Taylor, or you want to keep your options limited to make the choosing easier, then I still say you can't make a mistake with either one. Go and buy the one you can afford that fits your hands best and has the sound you most prefer.
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If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
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