I have decided to go all out and build one from scratch. It is a crazy thing to do, since I almost lost the tip of my second finger on my left hand when I was routing and drilling my partscaster a few years ago. Last year, I went in to overdrive and got the guitar finished in a rough form. This summer I got a neck and bridge from GuitarFetish.com, transferred over parts from my other Telecaster and had a great sounding guitar. I twangs just the way a good Tele should! The neck is huge - way thicker than I am used to. However, it cost only $40 and is playable. I choose a light brown finish because I was too impatient to wait to order a 1950's era butterscotch color. I don't mind this color at all. It's different and brings out the grain in the wood, which I think is ash.
I have looked at guitars in the stores with a new eye, and can't justify ever spending a lot of money for one. Yes, I am cheap these days. There was a challenge issued by the Telecaster Page to build a functioning guitar for $100, which is what I plan to do for the first one. Once I broke down the actual construction, I realized that I have most of the tools to pull it off. So off I will go this winter. This guitar body will be easy to cut, but the neck will be hard. I am looking forward to the challenge.