I won't speak for Boris B. but here's my take on it - the AOs are really a "cost cutter", but they have to be less expensive for Fender to manufacture and stock: Finish - Yep, that "flash coat" finish was thin. And it dented easily - it seems like Fender did something to toughen it up a little bit after the first couple of years because you stopped see quite as many posts about "the finish on my AV flaked off just by looking at it" posts. So a slightly thicker but easier to apply and handle (i.e. less like to be damaged during manufacturing and less likely to be damaged by the dealers) is a cost savings. From the few AOs I've picked up and played the finish really seems to be similar to the 1998-2012 AVRI models. There is also some overhead cost savings by Fender no longer having to stock special cases, reprint paperwork, "vintage wiring kits", and other case candy that is no longer included in the AOs. Fender had to stock 4 cases (tweed for the '52 Tele and '56 Strat; brown tolex for the '58 Tele, '59 Strats, and '64 Tele; black tolex for the '65 Strat; larger black tolex for the Offsets); they could cut that by 1 (tweed for the '50s models, black tolex for the '60s models, larger black tolex for the offsets) and change to a more generic/modern case center pocket case design that could be used for other models. The AVs were specific for the series; Fender didn't sell them separately. Then there's the extra time (and time is money) packing all that stuff into the cases when the guitars are completed. It's not a huge difference, but on limited selling models it becomes more important.