Ok. I really love lincoln brewsters sound. And what hes done with his strat is hes modded it with area 58 and 61 pickups along with a volume pot mod. Anyways i am going to do exactly that. but strat wise do i really need to spend 1100 on an american standsrd or is there a cheaper model or easier way to do this? I mean since im switchin out the pickups is the rest of the guitar that important? I hope im being clear enough
a MIM Fender standard would do well enough. it's no MIA but it gets the job done and for about $700 less.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
different wood, different hardware, different levels of craftsmanship, yes it will sound slightly different, it's up to you to decide whether or not it's worth the price or not.

I love the American strats, they practically play themselves.