Some of the most iconic music in history was made on a Strat. I saw your Strat, played it too- that thing is butter. Tele's are just flat out classy. 8 years ago when I had a massive ambition to build a custom guitar, I wanted to do a 7-string hollowbody curve-top Telecaster. Weirdly unique. And no, I don't think you're crazy for liking an Epiphone. They're probably the best bang for the buck of any entry to mid level guitar. I know plenty of people who own both a US Gibson and Epiphone and play the Epiphone more often. One guy in particular, not sure if he's still around sadly, had a gorgeous Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop guitar where the quilted maple was dye'd to look like a sandy beach with a sunset on the water. No idea what that beauty cost, but I got to play it for 5 minutes one time after which it went back in the case and the Epiphone LP came out.