I bought this guitar after having long evaluated whether to buy an American made (Fender AM Perf Strat RW HB) which costs twice as much or this one made in Mexico. Since I am an intermediate player and I only play at home, I decided to opt for this cheaper model. I am totally satisfied with the purchase. The guitar plays great, it is by all means 100% made by Fender (it happens I’ve heard that Fender uses the same piece of wood to make two different guitars, one in USA and the other in Mexico), the pickups play very nice and clean (and you can always upgrade them). I guess a big difference is given by the amp you are using, but I would certainly recommend to buy this guitar if you are on a budget and/or if you are an intermediate player, but you still want a quality instrument. What makes it great in my view is the playability. The frets, the neck, they are just perfect and the guitar comes perfectly setup. The body then is so ergonomic and it is so easy to keep it when you play it. If I’d compare it with the Gibson Les Paul Studio that I also have (which is by the way also a great, great guitar, a bit different from the Strat for many things) this Strat is much lighter to hold and is more balanced. Again, I am not a pro, but I guess many of you aren't. This guitar has been a excellent choice for me.