You can't go wrong with a squier. I have a squier fat strat and it plays great and has nice sustain and good tone. The only thing is the pickups sound a little brittle and could definitely use an upgrade. My favorite right now is my Cort LP copy. It was 249 dollars and the tone and the sustain are excellent. The neck bucker is warm and crunchy and the bridge bucker is searing an full of snarl.