A couple years ago I bought my son an acoustic. I was shocked how good of a guitar you can get for $100-$200. Easy to play, nice tone. The same is true for electrics. Some of these Fender Squires, if set up properly, really sing.
At the same time, I do enjoy the old stuff. But I am tempted to build an electric one of these days since there are so many quality parts available for a Fender-like guitar at a fraction of the price of a typical MIUSA Fender.