Have tried Strats off and on for years- a couple MIA Standards, a couple Jeff Becks, a couple AM Deluxes. Never bonded with them. I am primarily a humbucker Les Paul and 335 guy. LOVE the sound of Strats but never had much luck. I stumbled upon an older used Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster (MIM) for good price with interesting specs (12" radius, 6100 jumbo frets, vintage trem). Giving it a try. For whatever reason this one sounds pretty damn good and I am having fun with it. Kind of a vintage muscular SRV tone. Now I kind of have the Strat bug and a lot of questions....... Now I am wondering about higher end Strats (AVRI hotrods, American Originals, or even Custom Shop models). Need at least a 9.5" radius and like a beefier neck. Are they worth it? This MIM Kenny Wayne model is pretty nice. I do have Les Paul Historic R8 and there is a difference in my opinion at least for these versus Les Paul Standards. Do the higher end Strats really play and sound a lot better? What is the best bang for the buck in the higher end models (AVRI hotrod, Limited Edition models, Am Originals etc. Are those almost as good as Custom Shops?). Would want to stay between $1000-2000. Any insight is welcome. Thanks.