Is choosing pickups just a "best guess" crapshoot?
I've only used the stock pickups in my guitars.
It's never something I even considered upgrading before, but I'm not sure how I would even choose.
If I am interested in a guitar, I can go to the store and try it out. Same thing with an amp. But you can't really go try out pickups (unless you happen to know of a guitar that has those pickups stock and has the same body material as your guitar, etc.).
So are we left with reviews for guidance then? Everyone has a different opinion:
This pickup is amazing!
This pickup sucks!
Seems like a lot of work to install a new pickup only to not like it and have to undo it and return it. I guess you should make sure wherever you buy the pickup from allows returns, huh.