haha, you're going to get 20 different answers here, it's all personal preference. Each one is good for different uses.
You'll probably get alot of people saying Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, , but in my opinion Paul Reed Smith (PRS) make some of the nicest electric guitars. They're available for $500 - $5000+ depending on which model you get. However, just because a guitar is expensive doesn't mean it's the best. I'm personally not a fan of Gibson Les Paul. I looked at one around $2500 and didn't prefer the sound of it.
I make a living playing music. I mainly use Fender American made guitars. My main guitar is an original 1972 stratocaster which sounds exactly how I think a guitar should (I'm a blues/rock player).
Try some out and decide for yourself!
EDIT: The post below me is correct, a custom shop guitar will usually use better products on the guitar. I also agree that Warwick makes the best bass guitars.