This year, folks, expect retailers to offer good discounts on "black friday", but even better discounts later. Sales predictions are not good, some saying negative growth in sales from 2007, or at best very very modest growth - perhaps less than one percent. Usually, this means as the holiday (dare I say Christmas?) selling season pushes on, expect discounts to go deeper as retailers try to move inventories and do whatever they can to generate some cash flow.
My guess - look for after January 1, the "New Year's Sales" ought to be a real rodeo.
Things like guitars - where negotiation is in order anyway... I'd go down ready to buy to go deep, hold your ground at 45 percent or more off "list". They're gonna get hungry sometime, because nobody is buying guitars right now, compared to two years ago (last year was so-so).
FWIW, Center City Music sells Gibson at 45 percent off list all day long, in and out, and happily so. They're one of the top five Gibson dealers nationwide.