I already have a couple Strats I like, but I've sometimes wondered this question, particularly as someone who likes to mod guitars. Over the years I've gotten to know more of what I like in a Strat, and a few years ago I ended up building a partscaster (well, I ordered the parts and had a tech assemble it for me) with all the specs I wanted. So it got me wondering, is there a stock Fender Strat I'd buy today if I were buying my first Strat? Knowing what I know about Strats, if I didn't currently have a Strat, I might buy one of Fender's Deluxe Strats (the new MIM version that they started offering a couple years ago), in the transparent sapphire blue color: https://shop.fender.com/en-US/electric-guitars/stratocaster/deluxe-strat/0147102307.html I like the blue color (and that's the only Strat I've seen Fender offer it on, aside from the older Deluxe Player's Strat that this model replaced), 7-way pickup switching, locking tuners, and I like having noiseless single coils. However, I'd probably want to replace the pickups,I prefer some other-branded noiseless pickups better (Kinman, Zexcoil, Lace). Other than that, I think it's a good overall guitar. I'd probably like it better if it had the regular sized headstock, but the large headstock isn't a deal breaker. Edit - Then again, G&L has some nice Strat-style guitars too. Their Tribute series seems like a particularly good value.