Why should I even get a setup?
Why should you get a Setup? A better question would be "Why shouldn't I?". Aside from the fact that over time your setup will start to need to be re-tuned back into place (No people, setups don't last forever) there are also problems with brand new guitars straight out of the factory!
I just love watching people get brand new guitars, thinking just because it's brand new, that it couldn't play any better.
...And when I tell them "You should get that set up!" they say, "But... but, it's brand new!"
Yes it's brand new, however it was set up as a factory "playable spec" not to your spec. Meaning the action is so high that it's impossible to get fret buzz... and it may or may not be easy to play at that point. But probably not. Setting up a new guitar is crucial for you to get the full potential of your guitar. Why you might ask?
First off, going to a guitar shop and playing every single guitar until you find the one with the lowest action and best playability is NOT the way to go about things. Guitars aren't setup in the factory at all. They're assembled, tuned (maybe), and shipped in a truck across the country in constant changing humidity and temperatures for months, and by the time they get to the shop, even if they were setup in the first place it wouldn't matter because of the conditions they have endured since being assembled -Not to mention how much people mess with new guitars in shops before you end up buying them.
When buying a guitar it's better to not worry at all whatsoever about how the guitar plays, and worry about how it feels and how comfortable it is to your liking. ANY GUITAR can be setup to play like the $2,000 version of that you wish you could afford. Even expensive guitars, like Ibanez Prestige models, USA Custom Shop Fenders, and Paul Reed Smith Custom 24's usually aren't setup at all. And with the correct setup, any decent Ibanez can play the same as the $2,000 Prestige that is setup correctly. The same concept applies to sound, or the instruments tone. After a setup, the guitar is now operating as it should have been all along, and you're now hearing the way the instrument is intended to sound. That is when it's fair to make judgements about pickups, hardware, wood being used, etc.
Think about it: every guitar has a neck and frets. As long as the neck is not warped, and the frets are in decent condition, they all have the same essential capabilities to have essentially the same "action"... although some guitars may play slightly better than others, and obviously all guitars will feel differently... I guarantee any guitar can play as good as my personal guitars that receive constant upkeep and have very good setups.
Basically the point I'm trying to put across... is that every guitar has playing potential. Almost the same playing potential. No, your '67 Strat won't feel exactly the same as your 2005 Les Paul, but guess what... it wasn't supposed to! It can however play as just as good, just... feel different. If you want to get the best out of your instrument, and you want to play the best you can play, and learn and expand your realm of musicianship, it won't happen with a guitar that isn't setup correctly... and furthermore, a new guitar is just a band-aid for what could have been fixed with a fresh setup!