Yea, was wondering given the characteristics of aluminum. Not in an immediate hurry, cosmetics aren't the most important thing or I'd have shelled out for something in a different color as well.
Plugged in, it's got quite a range; tone zero on the rhythm circuit is exceedingly, exceedingly dark - but works for some very very biting octave fuzz settings I had laying around. Clean it's pleasant and a little woody, a bit of meat to the pickups I don't normally associate with JM pickups - as others have noted in their own reviews. It sounds good though, and can be tamed by rolling the volume knob down a bit.
Shielding and hum-wise I'm very impressed for a budget instrument; it's obviously wired right and has enough paint/foil to make things acceptably quiet even with high-gain settings.
Pedalwise it killed with a Devi Soda Meiser and Fender Blender; sounds good with the other couple I pulled off the shelf immediately but those were definite standouts.
I certainly don't *need* the guitar but it makes me happy and that counts for something. Will probably revisit if warranted in a couple weeks once the initial happy has worn off.