Kind of a personal taste thing. I play both - vintage spec and modern spec necks. I find vintage necks to be better for chording, and modern necks better for lead work.I played every MIM tele in the store (including the classic 50's) and I hated the necks. I much much much preferred the necks on the american standard and the highway 1.
Makes sense .. doesn't the Highway 1 also have a flatter radius ..?I played one at Guitar Center yesterday, and I was very impressed. The neck felt and played great (which is always where it starts for me). The thing is I actually (very slightly) preferred the highway one tele which is about $200 cheaper. The neck shape felt almost identical, the frets on the highway are bigger. The weight of the guitars was almost exactly the same (american standard slightly lighter I think).
In any case, I'm in the same shoes as mike...I'm looking for a sub- $1000 tele and so far the highway one seems to be a good choice for around $700.