Over the past few years, I have read the countless arguments and forum posts here and elsewhere stating that mim fender guitars are "just as good or better than" their pricy USA siblings, and was led to believe the USA strats weren't worth the money. I bought up quite a few min guitars, and have since sold most of them. To be completely honest, I am not the greatest guitar player. I am not bad, but I'm always trying to learn something new, and have made it a habit to make sure I play or practice for a minimum of 30 minutes EVERY day. I recently had the chance to purchase my first American standard strat, and I was finally able to justify owning a more expensive guitar (I understand that there are better and more expensive guitars out there). As soon as I brought it home to play on my own gear, I could tell there was a HUGE difference between my new USA strat and my other mim guitars. The looks, the feel, the sound, everything was different, everything was noticeably better. The USA strat had never had any work done, it was bone stock, but all the mim guitars had some kind if modification or work find to meet my expectations. The nut, string trees, saddles, pickups, pots, switches, even bridges were sometimes changed out, but none of my mim guitars ever stayed stock. I wrote all that to say that I will no longer blindly follow the trend and convince myself that my mim guitars are as good or better than a USA. I'm not trying to brag, I'm just stating my honest opinion: my American standard is better by a mile. How can anyone say their mim is as good or better? Maybe they found a diamond in the rough? Is it just an exaggeration, brainwashing by others? I can see where having a thicker finish is better for handling abuse, or cheaper prices make them easier to replace, but I just can't buy into it anymore. Is there anyone out there who feels the way I do about this issue?