I mean, you've got a great budget there, don't settle, get what you really want.
Those ES-335 Studios are on Reverb for around $1k, maybe try one of those.
I couldn't get along with my Casino at all, what I did was get an ES-330, since I couldn't deal with the nut width on my Epiphone. Now I'm happy.
My suggestion of a Ric is something that you might want to consider. If you get it used, you can turn around and sell it for most or all of what you spent on it. That's the only way to know if you are a Ric guy, you know? You might be. You probably heard scary things about them and I did too, but I wish I hadn't listened all these years. They play just fine, and even better, I find I play mine a little differently than I do Fenders and Gibson type guitars. Not sure why. I've heard other people say the same thing.
So, maybe give it a shot. If you are at all intrigued, you might find it'll blow your mind, you know? People do. I feel like if somehow my Ric 330 was my only guitar, I would be just fine.
So you have to ask from mother, "Who is my father?" And if she says, "This gentleman is your father," then it is all right. It is easy.