To answer my own question for the benefit of all interested, I have decided that if you really cannot afford vintage, it’s okay to go reissue. Japanese Fenders are fairly high-quality, and can be found used for under $500. Here’s what my own father had to say about my brilliant Squier idea:
"I wish I had good news for ya…I’ve seen local pro’s play Epi’s, but no player would be caught dead living on the same street with a Squire, anything!! Sorry Chris….bad move. I had a Squire strat some years ago, and it played rather hard….Also, the very cheapest hardware and pickups known to man are the hallmark of the squire.
If you want a Jag….don’t buy the squire jag. You can’t even sell them when you realize what a mistake you’ve made. Sorry if this sounds too …honest, but I’d hate to see you make that mistake, Son…."
Guess I’ll go reissue untile I hit the bigtime…