I used to play nearly every year at the Kansas City Irish Festival. What a great time those folks put on down there! One of the volunteers I'd bump into was named Mark Franzke. He was always interested in whatever mandolin I had at the time, and eventually started telling me about the ones he made. He brought one down to the festival one day for me to play, and I was floored. It was fantastic. Long story short, we came to an agreement that he was to build 2 mandolins for me. As a full time musician, who has to stretch the budget for instruments in so many directions, I had been used to playing lower quality, easy to find instruments. These were to be hand made, and top quality. I cannot count the number of professional musicians I've played with who have been impressed by these Mandos. Mark's prices are incredibly reasonable considering what he puts into each one, and what you get for your money. All that, and he's just about the nicest guy you will ever hope to meet.
These days, he's got a shop opened up in Kansas City, and it's an acoustic player's dream shop. Check out his site, and drool a while.
Check out Mark's blog he wrote for my 2 mandolins.