DDW - I ordered a Johnson round-neck from Elderly in June. They were normally $595 US, and this was on sale, because of "overstocking" for $495.
I've been having great fun fingerpicking it in regular guitar tuning. The neck is playable right up to the body, it's loud, and pretty mellow. So far I haven't seen any nickel flaking off, but will be watching, now that I've heard the warning.
The only thing I found a bit frustrating at first was that the dots on the side of the neck aren't comparable to most regular guitars; there's no dot at the third fret, for instance. However, after a little playing, I'm getting used to that. (I know all the classical players out there are smirking, because they get all over the neck with no dots at all, but I'm "dot impaired" !?!)
For the price, I think the Johnsons are a good deal.