Since Hardtail Strats are kind of rare, I think this should include ALL of them- vintage, recent American, Robert Cray (both Custom Shop and MIM) and Tom DeLonge Strats.... and any others I've forgotten. I have a Black Tom DeLonge (MIM) that I converted to an S/S/S configuration, with a white pearloid GFS pickguard. I'm not a fan of Tom DeLonge or Blink 182- I just wanted a hardtail for not too much money!!! When it came on sale for $395 at a time I actually had that much cash, I snagged it. Fortunately his name isn't on the headstock, just on the neck plate, which I swapped for one that has a Fender "F" on it. It has the higher-output of the two GFS strat-sized Tele-ish pickups in the bridge. It has a brass inductance plate under the bridge and sounds great. I bought some closeout ceramic pickups from GFS, and the middle sounded great with the Teleish bridge pickup. After trying several other neck pickups, I recently tried one of the non-RSRW pickups from that set in the neck position, and I think it's the one. Probably too dark for a regular Strat, but balances out the brightness of the hardtail nicely. I like the sound of the ceramic neck pickups with covers on the MIM Standard Telecasters, so I'm thinking of adding an inductance plate to it too. Why did I get a hardtail??? I love the sound of Teles, but prefer the way a Strat looks and feels- this way I can get a different sound, but be totally comfortable with the control layout and the comfort bevels. Since I've got it together, I love the way the neck and middle pickup sound alone, and I also love the blends, which are more jangly than quacky. It's also very articulate, and when I do a bend against a non-bent note, the result is very clean because the bridge is rock solid. Problems: First, the stock Seymour Duncan Invader was so powerful as to be ridiculous. Just could not do clean- until I put it in another guitar and accidentally split the coils when I installed it. Split, it sounds very much like a hot Tele bridge pickup- but since I already have a GFS version of that flavor, I have kept it in my MIM Standard Strat. Then, with single coil pickups, the hardtail seemed to emphasize the low strings to the point where it was hard to compensate by adjusting the angle of the pickup. Then one of the cast bridge saddles stripped an adjustment screw. On a whim, I tried 3 vintage style saddles from a MIM where one of the stock saddles had also stripped an adjustment screw. The resulting combination of vintage saddles on the wound string and cast saddles on the plain strings looks a little odd, but sounds REALLY good, very nicely balanced. So, what's YOUR hardtail Strat story????