I watched a great documentary on Robert Johnson a few months ago and ever since I just couldn't get that wailing mississippi delta sound out of my head. So I did a little research and ended up adding a Gretsch Boxcar to my collection.
For about $450 this is a lot of guitar for the money. For starters, just look at it. It's a work of art; a combination between an orchestral cello and a Buck Rogers spaceship with the entire head covered in mother-of-pearl. The finish on mine looks identical to the above picture from their catalog with deep rich color. I'd never played a resonator before but have always loved the sound. This one is acoustic only (no pickup) but there are more expensive models if you want to plug in. First impression, this baby is loud! No amp required - you'll easily be heard as the train pulls away from the station carrying you across the steamy Mississippi countryside. The metal reflector definitely amplifies the tone. It's a very bright tone but the lower strings still have a thick bass feel to them so the inherent brightness doesn't create an unbalanced sound.
I currently keep it in Open D tuning as I'm working on slide technique. Playing even simple slide blues licks on this instrument feels like going back in time. The wailing train-like sound is really satisfying coming from your own hands. So far she stays in perfect tune and didn't require any setup for comfortable playing. The neck is pretty wide, nearly approaching the width of my Cordoba C9 classical guitar. It's not an enormous difference from my other acoustics but if you have small hands you'll have a little bit of a stretch. Don't let that scare you away though. If you play more than one guitar your hands know how to adjust.
If you've been considering an acoustic reflector you can't go wrong with the Boxcar. Slide or no slide it just has a great sound that can be applied to a number of styles of music. I have to tell you though, mine seems to want to pull the blues out of me the moment I pick it up.