You are quite correct that people are people and the same machines with the same buttons are in both places. What one pays for in the price differential between US and Mexican made (particularly as US made is in California), are the costs of employing people in the US, insurance, state, local and federal taxes, courts and tribunals operating on rules skewed in heavily in favor of employees and a million lawyers at the ready to exploit that and make the company pay, massive capital expenditure not just on equipment that is needed to produce the product but whose sole purpose is environmentally related. Etc. It all has to be priced in to the end product. Every one of my Fenders has a maple neck and I like rosewood. So I've looked at the various offerings from the licensed producers but always some aspect makes me reluctant to purchase. In the end I finally resolved the problem by buying a Fender Bullet telecaster for less than the US neck alone now sells. It has a rosewood neck and it came from the Fullerton factory and left over 60s Kluson Deluxe tuners. And I got a guitar body with standard Fender quality electronics, Mustang pickups and a case as part of the deal.