I'm looking into strats, and i've thought about getting a standard and upgrading it, or buying a Showmaster and being set.

The Showmaster is $230 more, but it has a quilt bubinga top, locking tuners, Pearly Gates/'59 SD pickups, and 24 frets. The $230 i'd be saving when buying a standard would go towards a new set of pickups ($120), and other stuff.

So what's "better" you guys think? My buddy played one and said it was kickass, and very shred-able even though i'm not using it for shred.
I would choose the showmaster over a standard MIM

I don't really like how they look, kinda cheesy with the quilt in my opinion, but they're designed as shred guitars and as such it has kick ass resonance and better pickups.
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I'd go with standard MIM and than custom it out with the money you save on the pickups you want and such. The locking tuners are nice, but not needed, ya know?
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Do you want humbuckers or single coils?
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Do you want humbuckers or single coils?
I'll have both on both, since I would mod the standard to HSH, or keep the HSS. The Showmaster also has coil tap.