#1
is there any guitar out there that sounds like a stratocaster and is less than 25.5" in scale
#2
Yup. You can get a strat in a shorter scale, for that matter. 25", 24.75", even less.
#4
Out of production, but still available: the 24.75" scale Godin SD family.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#5
Well, I used to use a 66' Fender Mustang (24" Scale) when playing Ritchie Blackmore stuff, worked GREAT for Highway Star, but that's in the bridge position only, and switching pickups is not that easy if you're not used to the Mustang's switching system
My Current Mains
- 1996 Fender Jag-Stang with EMG Pickups
- 1998 Fender Jaguar with Cool Rails
- 1982 Hondo Paul Dean II (DiMarzio Super II X2)
- 2010 "Fender" Jazzmaster (Home built)
- 2013 Squier VM Bass VI (stock)