Lately, this Tele/Gibson player has been getting the itch for a Stratocaster. Went on a trying binge, testing out a lot of current Fender models, including a Custom Shop and even a Nash. 1. The Fender Custom Shop wasn't my cup of tea. It played nice, and the color was gorgeous. I'm just not a "Relic" kind of guy. Also, the pickups didn't knock my socks off. Also, I thought I could get something nice without paying that much money. 2. The Nash was great. The Lollar pickups were glorious. See my comments above about Relics and money. 3. Player Strat -- budget model felt and sounded like a budget model. Especially bothered me because they're not really cheap. 3. Vintera Strat -- I liked it. Didn't give me thrills, but the feel and tone was pretty good. Fretwork better than ok, but not stellar. I could see myself with one. 4. Performer Strat -- I liked it a lot. Didn't like the pickups, they lacked sparkle. It's a Strat for people who don't like Strats. Fretwork good, but I would probably spend a few bucks for a pro setup. 5. Elite -- Wow!! True custom shop quality, excellent fretwork, comfy neck, hardware first rate. The noiseless pickups did sound good, better than I expected. Didn't care for the flat fingerboard, and the price. Last model is last because I liked it so much, I bought one. American Performer. Neck so very comfy. Frets crowned, polished and rounded edges felt luxe. Rolled fingerboard was nice. Trem smooth and quiet in operation. It just played so well. I like the pickups. The criticism I've seen of them is that they are too "generic", but to me they sound like a Stratocaster. I threw some 10s on there, and setting relief, action, trem and intonation took no time at all. I might get a 5th spring and put some 11s on it next string change, it plays so light and easy.