#1
So, I've been playing 4 years now on a squire strat I bought for $50, and I'm starting to think I should upgrade (especially since I just joined a band). Anyway, I honestly haven't shopped around much for gear, so I'm not sure what guitars have what defining characteristics. But I do happen to know exactly what my "dream" guitar would be.

Thin and flat 16.92 Radius neck with 24 jumbo frets, similar to Ibanez.
No tremolo system, especially a locking one; Don't care to unscrew the locking mechanism each time I tune.
Scale length would hopefully be on the shorter side for easier bends, but I know that sort of goes against a 24 fret neck, so I'd settle for a longer scale.
For pickups, I would love a humbucking system that would let me split the humbuckers into single coils aswell.
I'm hoping to keep the price at $1000 or under, but I could pay a little more if it's exactly what I want.

Technically that's all that really matters, I have some shallow desires like the body being a single cutaway (preferably telecaster style) and having some striking 80's neon color, but those come second. If this reminds you of some brand or model you've heard of, please share. I'll certainly keep looking myself.
-Pascal
A Mediocre Guitarist.
#3
http://www.zzounds.com/item--IBARGA42FM
Possibly change pickups and electronics to allow for the split coil system.
Really the only necks like Ibanez ARE Ibanez.
I was thinking an s series originally but more of them are locking tremolo and only 22 frets.
#4
There's lots of 24 fret guits w/ the shorter Gibson scale, but they also have more of a Gibson radius (12"). A lot of Carvins are 25" and they may have a flatter neck r. Check out Carvin, they offer buttloads of options. PRS is another possibility.
#6
Like you, I imagined that some guitar would be the ultimate. What you figure out over time is that all guitars sound different, and all have limitations. That is often why you see guys going from one strat to another. They're all unique. Especially when you start recording, you notice that all guitars have their own sound. Sure, it can be altered somewhat, but it basically sounds like itself.

That is why many guitarists have a variety of strats, teles, Les Pauls and sundry others. Keep your Squier, and start acquiring as many different guitars as you can afford. They will all be useful. I regret selling any of the guitars I have ever let go. You never have too many.

They are tools. How many carpenters have only one screwdriver?