Yes, and all of these factors that Dazco pointed out so well....It's mostly not about that, it's about matching a pickup's EQ curve to the guitar. A high $ pickup thats not well matched can be beaten easily by a cheapie that IS well matched. Thats the thing people seem to always miss. They think theres a certain recipe or certain "best" ways to make a pickup. But the truth is each guitar's voice is unique and what sounds great in one may sound like cr@pm in another. For example, say the guitar has a lack of mids. A high end boutique pickup that many people swear my that is scooped will exaggerate the guitar's weakness, while even a budget pickup with cheap materials but with boosted mids right where that guitar needs them may blow the boutique away in that guitar. Or a A2 pickup may sound much better then a A5 in a guitar thats painfully bright. Or A5 in a dark guitar may sound a lot better then A2. Etc etc etc.
Chris, you like Lollars, correct? I have noticed a lot of your guitars have them.Not every winder gets their parts from the same place. This is absolutely false. Some winders have non-standard recipes of magnets and wire. I have heard about most of the stuff out there and a few stand out to my ear. And yes, they have their magnets poured to their recipe. If it does not make a difference to your ear, you are lucky. I hear things that I wish I couldn't. However, tone is subjective. Much like cars or anything else in life. Just because you do not find the value, does not mean it does not exist.