I just traded off my Jem7VSBL. Not because I hated it...I actually liked it quite a bit...just wasn't getting a vibe from it, and my guitars really need a good vibe.
That said, I believe the Jems are very versatile. The neck pickup (Evo) on my jem had an unbelivable sound when set to a very clean, open tone with some reverb...I would dare say it was the best clean tone I have heard in person. The bridge pickup is really hot, but remains clear and articulate even with ultra-high gain. The single coil and the 2/4 positions were pretty solid...gave me some great jangiling tones with low noise. But clean, the single isn't matched well with the Evo humbuckers...way too soft. Distorted, it is fine thanks to the natural compression of a cranked amp.
Versus a strat...I think the Jem wins overall, but the strat (if you get a good one!!!) gets some nods as well. I have played a bunch of american sereis fenders, american deluxe series, signatures, and let me tell you...that don't mean $hit about quality. However, one american strat I played had to be the most comfy guitar I have ever played (yet)...the neck felt just perfect, especially during fast position changes. Mind you this was a 3 year old strat that didn't have too many miles on it, which leads me to belive that the neck was like that when my friend got it. A good strat will give you great vintage tones, ala Clapton, Hendrix and Yngwie (vintage tone, shred to the bone). I do tend to think they are a bit bright when clean with most amps, sometimes to the point where the highend just screeches. If you find a guitar with less than 24 frets limiting, then a strat isnt for you...but the neck pickup placement is an awesome comprise considering it is located in a "sweet spot". Trems are definetly not to be used for anything more than a wide vibrato sound, but I think thats ok. Most strats are pretty light and failry rugged, and most finished on strats are beautiful factory new, with a few dings, or shot to hell.
I would love to have on of those Custom Classic strats in Daphne Blue with a maple board. So creamy
Just my 2 cents!!!