Like the neck, the wood used for the body, and its quality, plays a role in how the guitar sound.
Alder is used in most Fender Strats mainly because of its light weight and it’s easy to finish due to minimal grain lines.
This has nothing to do with what models you choose or how much they cost.
You could very well build the guitar yourself from scrap metal but what’s important is that you’re comfortable with holding the guitar in your hands, playing it and the sound it creates.
Some basic knowledge about the different wood types, neck and body profiles, pickups etc will help you in making the best choice.
There’s little doubt that US Fenders are better than Mexicans.
If this sound and feels right, then it’s a guitar well worth considering.
Pickups can easily be replaced for a more desired tone but you can’t fix a dead resonance.
Japanese Fenders are considered to be above the Mexicans and perhaps even just as good as the US.
Some like thick necks and some prefer a thinner contour.
Some like the vintage glossy nitro finish and some prefer the more modern satin finish.
Depending on the radius, thickness and contour of the neck, maples are generally brighter sounding with a bit more top and less mid range.
Rosewood necks (or rosewood fretboard) has a slightly warmer tone with more mid range and perhaps an overall more balanced character.