I have lots of experience with these guitars. From a playability and POTENTIAL tone standpoint they are nearly identical so go with whichever one you like the best. As far as pickups, everytime I buy a guitar I am fully prepared to throw a couple of different pickups at it until I hit the right combination. Pickup swaps are easy and relatively affordable especially since the pickups that are in it will help offset the cost of the new pickups.
I still have one USA made one left and a used USA one in stock and then I have the japanese ones. I can't talk about price, but PM me and we'll see what we see.
Hey, the playing in that demo video on your myspace is impressive. How would you compare the japanese to usa models ?