Well, there's no doubt about that the Czech made Futurama was the very first strat copy and yet it's its own thing. As this clip showcases, on account of its three rocker switches which could turn each pickup on or off, it actually could do those typical Strat "quack" tones before the strat itself could do those. Another early Analog for a real strat came from Hagstrom, which not only aped the specs of three single coils and a whammy bar but also copied the shape and the shape of the headstock. And yet again, it so clearly is its own thing. Come the seventies and the copy era arrives with Japan supplying the west with Ibanez, Aria, Tokai and Fernandes which copy the strat to minute detail, using real vintage Strats as examples. A 1978 Fernandes, this very clearly was NOT its own thing. So the boffins at Fender seeing somebody other than they themselves making strats, decided to take action and what we now know as the "Lawsuit" era came to be, in which the courts decided that those Japanese builders (and everybody else for that matter) couldn't built exact copies anymore. It resulted in companies being forced to start designing their own strat-style models, which were different enough not to be called a copy and yet were very obviously made to cater for that market of people who discovered how good those Japanese made strat copies were. After all: they still were made in the same factories and by the same people who made those copies in the first place. Ibanez came up with the Roadster, which even now, offered quite a huge bang for the buck. Yamaha gave us the "Super Combinator" series, which, much like the Ibanez got you a stellar guitar for not that much money. An early eighties Westone Concord. But not just the Japanese were feeling the heat as Peavey offered the T-26 as an alternative for the strat. And PRS was offering the EG series All of them Strat alikes but clearly their own thing. But then as the eighties turned into the nineties something shifted. Apparently making a strat alike but having it be its own thing was no longer important, as the focus went to "Make a strat and make it as close to a Fender as possible." THIS is a 1981 G&L S-500 And THIS is a 1991 G&L S-500 The reason was simple, if people wanted to have a strat, they'd BUY a strat and not a guitar which aped the Strat's specs but otherwise was its own thing. But it does seem like the trend is moving back again to having strat-alikes which are their own thing. The current model G&L Skyhawk. The Current Music man Cutlass.