I didn't give the guitar 5 stars, but it's pretty close. I've played many guitars from fenders to gibsons to ibanez to paul reed smiths. The different manufacturers all possess a slightly unique tone. I myself have been playing a les paul for many many years and have always wanted a strat.
I tested out many strats, including some custom shops and vintage models. The EJ strat blew them all out of the water for my tastes. The 12 inch radius neck is amazing for the kind of playing I like (i.e. lead guitar, improvisation and mostly focused on solos over chords). Using the tone/volume knobs leads to a vast array of tones.
Clean sounding this guitar just rocks. Pump up the overdrive and it still possesses a distinct solid tone on individual notes and you do not lose that sweet strat tone you're looking for. The neck pickup is so fat and rich its unbelievable. The bridge pickup is as hot as a strat pickup could be. And everything else in between leads to a dynamic range of tones possible.
Looks-wise, I'm blown away. I know many people will scoff at the idea of a bound neck strat, but I think it's classy and beautiful. Also sets the strat apart from the pack. I also prefer the laminate rosewood neck to maple.
Overall, if you're looking for a strat that will stand the test of time, and still rock out with that rich, undeniable strat tone, but with a subtle uniqueness due to the EJ pickups and higher tension with the 5 springs int eh back, then this is the guitar for you.
Hands down, best production strat I've ever played and to me, as good as most of the custom strats I tested as well.