The high end Loomis rods are truly a beautiful sensitive and a quality piece of fishing equipment. They are light and very uniform in action. With that being said I'll also note that the level of expertise and skills I posess don't warrant spending over $150 on casting rods or $250 on fly rods. I have not seen or fished with the low end Loomis rods but feel they exhibit very good quality for their price. Several friends are dedicated fly fishermen and own Loomis rods.
Each of them agree that their reason for owning the Loomis is they are one of the lightest rods available which makes a very big difference when wielding the long rod all day.
I was wondering the same thing the other day when I was in Gander Mountain...seen a guy holding one and talking to a salesman about them...they sure have a hefty price tag on them...I have just within the last year began to buy a little better quality rods and reels and have started by trying out the St. Croix rods..I have bought 3 of there Premiere series and have been very satisfied..they run roughly $90-$100 so they bridge the gap nicely before you take the big plunge and buy the upper end St. Croix or the Loomis rods, I also have to agree with the other Gentleman that a $200 rod for the time being is a little more rod than what I need given my fishing knowledge.
I've used their top-end rods, for spinning & baitcasting, and they are top-notch, in every way. I've used, & still do use a few St. Croix rods, also top-notch. But those rods are ridiculously overpriced.
Two years ago I bought two Falcon rods at Galyans, one a heavy-action worm rod, 6-1/2', and a medium action 6', both for spinning. The quality and sensitivity of these rods blew me away, and at 1/3 the price, I haven't looked back. Galyan's will replace any Falcon rod that breaks, as long as you keep the receipt. I broke one shutting the car door, no problem.
Try a Falcon rod, no matter what kind, you can't go wrong.
Head down to Dixie Marine and check out the Rogue Rods they have in stock. They are made by the Brothers that started GLoomis and they use the exact same blank as the GLX. They also carry a lifetime warrenty and they are 1/4 the price. They are going for around $150. Check them out, you wont be dissapointed.
Oh and to answer you question, the GLX blank is downright awsome!
I own four of them,and three St.Croix rods.Although I love the St.Croix rods,there's no comparison in my mind which are the superior rods.The Loomis rods I have are over $325.00 each,but I do a lot of walleye jig fishing,and I swear I can feel it if a walleye just breathes on my jig.My St.Croix's are all of the "Legend" series,and they're pricey also,but not quite as high as the Loomis'.A lot of the other guys advice is well taken,if you're just starting out,I would go with a moderately priced rod,as one guy said,the Falcon's are all right,as are Fenwicks.
I used to believe that expensive rods and reels are just that expensive and for the guys with all the money. However i bought a shimano curado bait caster on a stclarius rod. and i hate to use my cheap old stuff. There is a big diff. Iam saving now to get a couple more curados and some Gloomis rods for them.
I have made 3 fly rods using Loomis blanks. I have a 4 W, 6W, and an 8W. I love them. I use them for trout, steelhead, and snook. Making them cuts down on the price. You can get hold of a video that explains the rod making process. Rod making adds another dimension to the fishing experience. It is a great winter activity.
I have a couple of the Curado's too.They're expensive,but well worth the investment.My favorite rig is my G.Loomis SJR782 rod equipped with a Shimano Stella 4000.I guess that rig would come to around $900.00 at the present,but when considering how often I fish,I figure it worthwhile.I learned a long time ago,always buy the best gear that you can afford and you'll never be disappointed.I've been on fly-in trips to some remote location in Canada,only to bust a rod tip,or pop a bail spring in a cheap reel.That can be a trip ruiner right away!