I think before one buys an Ibanez, one must try an Ibanez.
There necks are either love them or hate them. And while you might love them at first (they are very fast and thin as hell), after a while, you may hate them. I used to get a pain in my wrist from playing Ibanes guitars, because my fingers would cramp on such a thin neck.
I totally agree about trying before buying. The necks on the AZ range are at the other end of the scale, a real departure for the modern Ibanez that we know. They are wide and really fat. Fatter than my Tyler, which are renowned for being baseball bats. I didn’t like it.
I agree with you on the Japanese Ibanez quality, too. There was a time when they were really outstanding. Nowadays I think you need to be a super star guitar player and get one of their master builders to make a bespoke one-off to be able to acquire a guitar with the same standards of old.