The best alternative to the Fender Stratocaster
When you want something Fender that isn't a Fender, you want this.
An alternative to the Fender Stratocaster that some of you out there might in fact prefer is the G&L Legacy.
What is G&L?
A guitar company founded by Leo Fender, George Fullerton and Dale Hyatt in the 1970s. Leo Fender was first with Fender guitars (obviously,) then Music Man, then G&L. The letters mean George and Leo.
What is a G&L Legacy?
Arguably, it's what the Fender Stratocaster would have turned into had Leo stayed with Fender and not sold the company in 1965.
Legacy Tribute vs. Legacy USA
(From the link above you will see both Tribute and USA models, easily differentiated by price.)
The Tribute Legacy's body and neck are imported while the USA Legacy is all-USA made.
I actually like the Tribute better for one specific reason. 12-inch fingerboard radius.
The USA Legacy uses what's called a G&L "Modern Classic" neck which has a 9.5-inch radius. It's a bit on the slim side and a great neck.
However, the fact you can get a really awesome Strat that has real-deal Strat tone in rosewood or maple fretboard with 12-inch radius? I honestly think the Tribute is the better buy here even though it's the cheaper model.
Make no mistake, in Tribute or USA version, the Legacy is totally a high-end Strat.
In closing, I'll just say this. If you wish the Strat Fender makes (Mexico or USA version) had just "something a little extra," consider a G&L Legacy and you'll probably really, really like it. And I can assure you that you're not settling for less by getting one.