1. AS GCB said
2. I've only ever heard one Martin that sounded good - they may be good value in the US, but in the UK they don't pack huge bangs for your, err pound, this is not just my opinion, I know other people who feel the same way. There are plenty of other good guitars around, especially hand made ones. You want a good guitar, how fat is your wallet and soon do you want it? For £10k, you'll get a Sobell Martin Simpson signature, but you'll be a year older before you get it. For £1500 to £3000 you can get a hand made guitar in the UK which will be:-
b) better than most production Martins. Now if you have a fat wallet and a big reputation, no doubt Martin will supply you with something special - I'd sooner have something unique.
BTW, don't go looking for a Louden guitar, they don't exist. But should you find a Lowden guitar, there was a period when they were considered not very good at all, but just about every Lowden I have heard is superior to a Martin.
3. From the point of a listener, whether or not is trad or not may not be important, but then again, you may not be bothered about the type of cheese you eat in your sandwiches. For an artist/composer, you will not get royalties on a trad song because you do not own the rights to it, just your arrangement. For a contemporary song you get all the rights unless you sell them to Michael Jackson. Now the issues of revenue earning potential are very important to folk musicians. There is nothing like the amount of money sloshing around in folk music as there is in popular music and many, if not most, professional folk musicians in the UK struggle to make a living. One of the most respected melodeon players in the country has said that he could earn more money as a postman.
Put yourself in the position of Kris Drever, Salsa Celtica, Tim van Eyken or the fifth placed nomination for the best trad song. You might be mightily pissed of if Seth won because you could lose out on sales of CDs, but I suppose that doesn't matter does it?
And on the subject of CD sales, I suppose we should buy from Amazon where, because of discounts, the artist earns 50p at best from an album. If you buy direct from the artist (either web site or at a concert) the artist will get considerably more by having no middle-man. What do we want? Lots of money wearing a hole in our pockets and filthy rich multi-nationals or folk artists who don't need to make a decent living by flogging their guts around the motorways of Britain? Don't forget, we lost one of the best guitar/fiddle/singers in the business when he ran into a lorry, exhausted after doing yet another gig miles from home and not being able to afford accommodation. Is this what we really want? Quality costs and we need to wake up and pay for it.