This is a little story about how I got lucky and how I managed to get my new 2004 Martin D-18 for a fraction of the cost.
So I was in Moscow on vacation, where I've met with a friend of mine. He said: I know a cool guitar store a couple of blocks away, let's check it out. We go there and there was this little Martin guitar hanging in the corner of the dark room. I said: what's that? He said: It's a poor beaten-up Martin nobody wants, they dropped it and now nobody wants a $2,000 guitar with a hole in it.
Long story short: I bought the guitar for less than 2/5 of its price, went back to Saint Peter, gave it to the luthier to get it fixed for two Benjamin Franklins, and voila — now I have a perfect, unique Martin D-18 with some beautiful scars which somehow made it look even better, soundboard remaining intact, with amazing sound and most importantly what does it cost me? Not as much as a car!
What can I say about this guitar? It's Martin D-18! It's perfect for anything you can throw at it, perfect for strumming songs and practicing. I use it for practicing at my home when I'm not using my Gibson Advanced Jumbo.
For this guitar, I use the same strings as on my Gibson.