what do you guys think? I've seriously been thinking about a new guitar for some time now, and I've come down to fender or gibson.

I'm going to try it out wednesday I believe, so input would be nice. First of all I've heard Strats are VERY versatile, and I need a versatile guitar as I play anything from blues to thrash metal. ( And I frequently play everything ).

2004 PRS Swamp Ash Special
Peavey Valveking 212
Dunlop Crybaby 535Q
Line 6 UX2
I dunno how great of a thrash tone you could get out of it, but it should be able to cover everything else for sure. That's an awesome looking axe though, gotta love American Fenders
if your gonna play thrash your probly going want a h/s/s strat or go with the gibby.
My dad has an american deluxe strat... truly a beauty to play. I myself am planning to pick up either an american standard or deluxe sometime this summer. Strats really are the most versatile of all guitars as they really can play nearly all styles, especially if you throw a humbucker/ stacked single coil on the bridge. I've never played a Les Paul so I unfortunately can't give any input. Go to the guitar store and spend a couple hours trying out all the different models, and pick the one that you like the best!
Ain't nothin wrong, ain't nothin right, and still I sit and lie awake all night...
Get one. They're excellent instruments of the highest quality.

I'd go for an ash body, if you can find one.
i have one and i love it, it truly is very versatileand i lovethe neck on it.

i havent tried thrash though

07 Fender American Deluxe Strat
07 Fender Custom Telecaster
09 Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster
09 Fulltone OCD V.4
10 Ibanez WH-10 V.2
09 Splawn SuperStock
10 Jet City JCA-20
97 Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Yeh the SICK! bit sounds a bit stupid.

I currently own one of these babies, and man is it sweet. Mine has the classic 3 tone sunburst body with a maple neck. I really love the S-1 switching on this guitar too, because if you ever need an extra boost from your pick ups push in the S-1 and you'll have many new tones flowing out of the guitar. Versitility is excellent and like others said it may be pretty tricky to get some thrash metal tones, but it covers everything else nicely.
I just got the American Special Mahogany HSS (pictures coming soon) and I am loving it so far. I had no idea what I was missing just playing on my daughter's starter electric. The thing is really smooth and sounds awesome.