At that point Jonathan was getting, I think, 4-5K for a fiddle, and with a gold medal or two under his belt, his prices have climbed along with his reputation. Current violin price is 8K -- way out of my range.
But I kept looking, and this week I got lucky. A nice lady in Idaho was selling Jonathan's #16 for an absolute steal. Having done a lot of successful wheeling/dealing with mandolins the past couple of months, I was actually in a position to buy it ... and it'll be on its way to me shortly. I'll have to do some soul-searching and a lot of comparison with my current axe, which is not a beauty to look at, but sounds great and has served me well ... and is in all likelihood the best fiddle anyone ever bought for $460 ... and could sell on consignment for as much as I'm paying for the Franke.
Every fiddle is different, of course, and I have no guarantee that #16 will impress me as much as the violin from my previous encounter with Jonathan. But this may be the only chance I get to own one of his. Somebody pinch me.