Preference is one thing, but if you’re comparing why one Fender Strat is better than another, you’re looking at parts, features, stability, wood used, attention to detail (which is why handmade is generally better). Some woods are of higher quality. Harder to source, rarer, it’s a fact. If you use that wood the quality of the parts goes up, hence the overall quality is higher. You may like the cheaper guitar which is fine, but if you were looking at it objectively you would have go for the guitar with better parts and attention to detail. Mostly on the more expensive model.