I'm so sorry Dennis but I don't agree still...I think the guitar is actually quite a small part, given the quality of even cheap guitars these days..
Let's be honest, everything in the whole chain can affect it, it depends how bad. I doubt many people can detect the difference between a George L cable and Planet Waves one because they are both good. But put in an ultra cheap cable that crackles, of course you will.
The guitar in my Avatar is a £250 Epiphone, albeit a Korean one....Very few people would notice the difference between that and a Gibbo, sound wise..
Law of diminishing returns..
Promise I'll shut up now because I think your general point about expecting cheap equipment to sound as good as good quality stuff is true..
Well it's important to get the point of view of everyone here, sp please dont shut up. It's interesting to read different ideas, it help to improve and get a larger view... I don't pretend to be right (may be 50% as we talk about percentage LOL )