To be perfectly honest, if he's prepared to spend a grand on a Fender, he'd do much better to contact a UK luthier like Woodworm
or KGB Guitars
, because in terms of pure quality he'll get much more for his money that way. If he doesn't want to order a custom guitar from a small builder, there are better options, for less money, than a new Fender Strat.
If it was me, I'd be either looking for a nice second-hand Japanese Fender, JV-model Squier or Tokai at around £300, which leaves plenty of money for the pickups of his choice; or building my own from decent parts. Fortunately, I got my favourite Strat for free. :biggrin: