well, in my case, it has more to do with feel than tone. I really don't believe string guage affects tone much if at all, and like you say, you got an amp attached to the other end of the thing to make up for any differences in that regard. But strings thinner than .010 I just can't feel under my fingers, makes it very hard to play, and especially to bend notes. That's why I had put that weird set together, from 11 to 42 - I can really feel the 11's, but a standard set of 11s goes to like 52 or something, which is then way too fat for me, lol ... In fact, I think the sizes I used were 11, 12, 13, 22, 32, 42 ... something goofy like that.