I'll second Mr Lewis's first paragraph! #At a local music store here in my town they have ten mandolins hanging on the wall with Breedlove being the most expensive. #Not a one of them is in tune and of the lower end models 4 of them had major buzzes when given a casual strum. #Just how they expect to sell any of them is beyond me. They also had a tenor banjo which was tuned like a 5 string minus the 5th string and when I started tuning it in 5ths got all huffy with me and told me its supposed to be tuned how they had it. #I attempted to explain but met resistance and I didn't argue since it was their banjo but politely hung it on the wall and left. #I won't be returning or making any recommendations to others to visit the store.
That said,the quality of your instrument will be judged by how well you build and how well your retailers promote and display them. A "high profile" player endorsing them couldn't hurt but in the end it all boils down to #1-sound and #2 craftsmanship. #Good Luck to ya!!!
Look up (to see whats comin down)