Using that argument, then Fender should only ever make Strats and Teles. Clapton made his name in the Bluesbreakers using a 60s Tele. Later on he was known for his Frankenstrat composed of 50s-60s bits. In 1961 Gibson dropped the carved maple/mahogany Les Paul. It was regarded on both sides of the Atlantic as 'not all that'. If they'd ignored what happened in 1969 with Page and others they'd probably be like Gretsch, with licenced offshore assembly of hollowbodies. The people like Dan White at Fender in 1980-83 were busy resurrecting their legacy with 4 bolt Strats and vintage Reissues. They had no funds or staff to keep anything on board that didn't sell in volume. So they concentrated on higher quality heritage product in guitars. After that, they had a new factory with new tools and products. Given the WRHB came in CBS era it took a long time for that stigma to evaporate, even though work started when Leo was around.