Well as you may know I sold my les Paul (my wine red studio) and bought a 2002 highway one strat. Well being me (stupid) I did my research after I bought it, but that could also be a good thing. I found that the 1st Gen Hwy 1's were 2002-2005 and the new or "upgraded ones" were mid 2005- present day. The 1st Gen's were a bare bones strat made in corona CA. U.S.A with a Mexican bridge and U.S "vintage style pickups with staggered poles" and the new ones have hotter alnico 3 pickups (that a lot of people say aren't as good) a bigger 70s style headstock and logo, les gloss on the neck, bigger frets, uglier colors, (ok that's just my preference lol) and that's about it. So I love my 1st gen hwy 1. it's the nicest strat I have ever played and I'm a strat guy. It feels like I'm playing a stick of butter the neck is so nice, lmao. And to my ears it sounds better than the alnico 3 or alnico 5s. So enough of my talking, anyone here have had experience with ether the new or old ones?