I recently picked up a Tele after playing mostly Strats for years. It's a Monoprice Tele, but I love it. I kind of feel like the Strat is the nice comfortable smooth sounding machine, and the Tele is kind of rude and trashy sounding, in a really good way. Of course the neck pickup is really dark so you can get a pretty lush smooth sound out of it too. The band I play in does a lot of Stones, and it works great for that, better than the Strat, and it works well for the Stray Cats stuff we do too, it's not a Gretsch but it has more of a 50's sound than the Strat to me. The Tele has a lot of range as far as going from really dark on the neck pickup to screaming treble on the bridge. Not that I'm much for screaming treble, I usually back the treble off on the amp and the guitar. I'm thinking about taking the tone control off the neck pickup though, I can't see wanting it any darker, and i always roll the tone off a bit on the bridge. Anyway I'm really enjoying it, not that I'm getting rid of my Strat or anything. I'm wondering if it's worth upgrading the pickups, they sound pretty good to me.