One of the best blues guitarists that I met years ago, was from Manchester and is living here somewhere. I asked him about his battered olive green Strat (same colour as this forum), and he smiled and said it was a Korean copy he'd bought in a pawn shop; but he blew other pretenders off the stage.
Most learners I know play Squires (all made in Korea not Japan now I believe). Maybe even Epiphones if they're really into gibsons I suppose. I suppose it would be easier to learn on more expensive guitars as they've got a lighter string action on the fretboard. But they'll never get to appreciate their own guitars as much that way. I've played some right dodgy things over the years (strings about a centimetre away from the frets even!). I actually think that helps learning.