I want to know a little bit more about Fender Strats, cause I´m looking forward to buy one next year.

What´s the main difference between the different kind of strats available (American, Standard, Highway 1, Deluxe) and which model would be the best?

When did the famous CBS era started?
Taking that into account, which year´s stratocaster would be the best one?

CBS era started when CBS bought out fender in late 1965. that said, it's basically 1966 and on. jimi's famous white strat at woodstock 69 was a CBS strat.

i like the '50s strats, the '54 and '57 being my personal favorites for the neck shape and the decently hot pickups. '60s are good too. '70s reissues are okay, but the vintage '70s aren't the best. thats why you don't see many of those.
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There's nothing wrong at all with CBS strats, the thing is, when CBS bought Fender, the quality control really went downhill, a lot of ****ty guitars were produced. However, the guitars that were made then are (IMO) much nicer than the modern American guitars. If the guitar is still around now, chances are it was a good one. Check to make sure the neck is well attached (or get someone to check) and you have nothing else to worry about. Also, you can find a mid 70's strat for less than a new American one. Would you rather have a new one, or one that's over three decades old?

Anyway, Gibson's equivalent (The 70's "Norlin" era) was marked by a huge reduction in quality and features, Fender still produced nice guitars with very few changes, they just made a lot of crappy ones too.

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