My Stern CS guitar IS better than the other Jets I have, have had, have played. Its that simple. To be clear its Not twice as good. Not better in proportion to the additional cost. But I love it more, it plays and feels as good as anything ive ever played and i cant imagine anything better. Yes it was expensive. But i worked hard to get it, made sacrifices and remain to this day grateful for the blessings that enabled me to get it. As far as Im concerned, its as good as a guitar can be. Scratches every itch.
I think you nailed it. I'm expecting it to be better in perhaps unquantifiable things, like inspiration, vibe, mojo...whatever that special "thing" is that Stephen and the Custom Shop do, that will make it feel different.
My Tele', which was master-designed but team built, and has "it" in spades...but I can't pinpoint what "it" is.
If I get there and it's not speaking to me than it'll stay in the shop, with nothing lost at all but an additional 4 miles of fuel.