whats the reason for discontinuing them?Any decent maple or birch kit will do. There is really no "kit = style of music" out there; your sound will have more to do with size/depth of drums, head choice, tuning, and your playing. That said, a Ludwig steel kit or acrylic shells may not be as ideal for country music, but I've heard jazz players make an acrylic / vistalite set sound like a "jazz" drum.
Regarding sizes, I'd recommend either a 20" or 22" bass drum, 8x10 and 8x12 (or 9x12) toms, and a 14" floor tom. There will be plenty of shell packs in those and other offerings.
For your price range, I would check out either Mapex Meridian maple or birch kits or Tama Silverstar birch kits. The Mapex Meridians have been recently discontinued but you can find a lot of dealers now doing clearances on those, like Drummersuperstore.com.
Good luck in your search!
Companies discontinue stuff all the time. It's like fashion. Out with the old, in with the new. Some companies like Ludwig and Gretsch try not to change too much because their history and vibe is what people are after. Other companies always push the envelope (Tama and Sonor come to mind) and come up with new designs all the time. But if you find something you like, it doesn't mean it's no longer valid if the company stops making it. Just so long as it can be repaired when you need (they do stock parts sometimes for years after a product is discontinued) you could be good for decades if you take care of your stuff.whats the reason for discontinuing them?