I bought my first electric today... a Fender Standard Stratocaster HSS in electron blue color. I spent nearly two hours every day over the last five days playing all sorts of guitars before arriving at my decision. During this period I played various guitars from Squire, Epihone and Ibanez. While I was impressed by a couple of Ibanez's, I felt the most confortable with the Fender Strat HSS.
I am far from being a "competent" guitarist but I think the Humbucking pickup at the bridge and the other two single coil pickups cover all the tones that I would like to play.
I am a beginer and had been playing an Ibanez acoustic (which was amazing by the way) for the last two months.
I picked up a "Line 6 spider III 15" to go with the Strat. This little amp plays along with the best of them (especially within the close confines of my bedroom ). Since it has 4 channels and includes 6 effects, I can concentrate on getting better at playing the guitar instead of worrying about buying more equipment to go with it.
As an aside, the luthier at the store had removed the Tremolo arms of all the Fender Strats on display in the store.
Photos to follow...