I have quoted this for emphasis; this is all that really matters.
You could get tons of recommendations and suggestions on here, but if they don't sound good to you, it was all for naught. The best guitar you can buy is the one that feels and sounds good to you.
Go to the best shops in your area, drive a few hours if you have to, but just play as many guitars as you possibly can. When you find the one that screams out "I'm yours! Take me home!" you buy that one...hopefully it's in your budget. When I last purchased an electric guitar, I drove 1.5 hours each way, once a week for a month just to play the guitar until I had the funds to take it home.
A budget of $1000 can get you a really nice guitar. I would advise seeking out an instrument constructed of all solid woods if at all possible. There are too many guitars out there made of "high density laminates" its disturbing. A solid wood acoustic with a traditional dovetail neck/body joint will always sound the best. This is my personal opinion, but with the exceptions of a nice Strat/G&L, I would never purchase a bolt-on neck guitar.
Your Ovation doesn't project due to it's rounded, composite/plastic back. They were never intended to sound good when played unplugged.