Re: Tips on buying Guitar
folks with about a billion light years more knowledge than me who post here. But my two cents is go to a local guitar store and just play guitars that are in your price range, until you find one that feels right.
This is prime advice, and the best thing you can do. If you are looking for specific recommendations though...
If you liked the feel of your Godin, I'd stay with that brand. They're a huge amount of guitar for the price and you'd be hard pressed to find that level of quality from any other brand at those price points. Check out the Freeway Classic. Probably can snag one new for about 5-600 bucks, and used for anywhere between $250 and $400. Fantastic guitars.
If you're willing to go used (I'm just assuming you're into strat-shaped guitars), dig around for a Jackson SLSMG or DK2MT - you should be able to find one of either for between 4 and 500 dollars used on Kijiji, and they're fantastic instruments.
The 2014 Schecters are a big step up in terms of build quality and hardware from what they were putting out before, and they're also catering to the more current metal/shred community with thinner neck profiles and flatter fingerboards.
Ultimately though, like has been stated, play a bunch of guitars at a shop and see what you like. Don't read too much into brand name or place of manufacture - if it plays well and sounds good to you, that's all that matters. If you find something there though, I'd be inclined to check out craigslist/kijiji to see if you can find one used before dropping coin at a shop.