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ok Mr. Dodgeball. so your’re looking for a trusty guitar, but still sounds kinda indie rock. and for no more then 600$, and you want to keep with the single coils?
hmm…the main difference between strats and teles is obviously the the body shape. This might sound too simple, but seriously, pick up each one and feel which shape you like. after that is the sound. the strat will sound more airy, cool, california where as the tele will sound more southern, tom petty, good rhythm sound. they have similar bridge p/u sounds, but the neck pickup on a tele is way more full, bassy almost muddy…where as strats have that middle pickup which is balances out everything, and makes the sound more mid-rangey. Steve Malkmus is a strat man. But thurston more used to be seen playing a tele copy (around the time of dirty)

You should never listen to guys who work at guitar stores..and try to buy on-line..because its cheaper. even if you have to figure out what you want at the store first. ebay has way better prices, and way more options.

analog delay is different then boss delay, in that it is shorter, and earthier sounding. it adds a slight echo onto everything, which digital can do to, but digital sound a little more robotic and glitchy, a slight analog delay when boosted can almost be a new type of distortion in the signal, which is why multiple analog delay is great. Digital delay is best for long swirling delays, where everything repeats back onto itself.

you don’t need a compressor pedal unless you already have three other pedals. remember that. the compressor should be your 4th pedal purchased. because you’ll only start to hear what it’s doing if you put it before an overdrive, and wah.

these are my assesments.

as far as after market pickups go…you seymour duncan are very nice, look at the tone chart on their webpage…lace sensors are nice too, but I think you might want a hotter single coil for sonic youth/pavement type stuff.

have fun.