Hey guys, I am LOVING all the info and learning about these guitars. BUT I have no idea what to get. As far as budget goes, i can’t afford anything much more than $500 right now and that sucks bawlz because the tone of some of these guitars are to die for. As far as experience goes, I played acoustic for nearly 20 years before expanding to electric and it took me over a year to realize I was fretting the strings too hard which is why I couldn’t keep the dang thing in tune ♂️ My first “strat” was a red and black sunburst Samick that was given to me by my brother in law and I took it completely apart, sanded it down, and painted it blue. I wish I would’ve taken pictures but this was almost 10 years ago and I didn’t know better. From what I can remember, it was a mohogany body with a thin maple top (I only knew this because I worked in a cabinet shop at the time and knew a decent bit about wood lol) I’ve done a bit of luthier work as a hobby but not major stuff. Until this year, that has been my only electric guitar. My only other is a Gretsch streamliner hollowbody with a centerblock and I’ve just expanded into my pedalboard as well. All this to say, I’m fairly new with the electric stuff but not new to the instrument I’ve been shopping for a new strat because I really love the Stratocaster and I’m super stoked to get my first legit Fender but I don’t know if I should go Squier or MIM or MIJ or save for a more expensive American strat. Tone and neck feel are very important to me and I love the clear finishes. what route do you guys think I should go?!?