I own two strats, both Mexican made & both of them I like very much. This one is my favorite though. Not sure if it's because of the maple neck or not (the other one I own is black & rosewood neck) but I'm really glad I pulled the trigger on this one. At first, before I bought it, I thought I'd buy it & upgrade the pups & hardware, but once I got it I loved it so much I didn't want to touch anything. It really is a tone machine. 5 way pup switch is awesome. Cheap, durable, reliable - it's like the AK-47 of guitars. Fender keeps jacking the price up each year because people are starting to come around. Sure the American ones are great quality, no doubt about it but the Mexican is great if you're on a budget. I will never give up mine & this is coming from a guy that has $2,000 guitars.