AS @la szum
said, the Variax is a great tool. I do not like the guitar, but being in a cover band where I need all the tunings, all the kinds of electric and acoustic guitars all at once without having to bring 3 or 4 guitars to the gig is a dream. I own the JTV-59 (the Les Paul). It's not a TERRIBLE guitar, but it's nothing to write home about. It's a perfectly solid guitar and everything you'd expect in the sub $1200 price range. It doesn't feel like a premium guitar, but it gets the job done.
I would never go for the Shuriken since it only have a bridge mag pup. I use my Variax with the electronics turned off regularly. I think the actual guitar sounds a little better than the LP model. Well, not really, but here's the deal: Palm mutes sound like trash on these guitars when you're using a model. There's a chirp/plink that you can't dial out since, in the end, you're using piezo pups when you've got the modeling engaged. It's still usable in a full-band context, but jamming alone or for recording, you're gonna notice it.
So yeah; the TLDR is that they're decent guitars IF YOU NEED it. It's my least favorite guitar and I miss using my favorite guitars for gigs, but it's just too damn versatile as a tool to give up loL!