I've had nothing but USA-built guitars for too many years to remember... I never even considered an MIM Fender - no way in hell! Well, I spotted an MIM marked down a good bit (had a small body ding on the side) at the local GC. The sunburst finish on it looked pretty good, so I bought it on a whim (I should also mention that I also have a 5-year old USA-built Tele to compare the new MIM to.) Well, I got it home and worked on the "action" a little and put new .09's on it - and I mean, the thing sounds just as good as my trusty USA Tele thru the Marshall 900 MKIII I use for gigs. I'm serious here - that's not an exaggeration... The MIM really sounds and plays suprisingly good - regardless of where it was manufactured. IMO, this just proves once again that if you open up your mind just a little bit that good things can happen... Maybe I just got lucky here, I don't know... but based on my limited experience, I can recommend that you at least consider an MIM Fender Tele if you're shopping around...