The Indy today has one of those articles that pop up from time to time claiming to have solved the mystery of why Strads are the best.
Leaving aside the claims of Mr Guarneri del Gesu, one of the most gorgeous violin sounds I've encountered recently came from Christian Tetzlaff, whose tone in the Brahms concerto brought tears to the eyes simply by existing. Strad schmad, he plays a modern violin made by Peter Greiner in Germany.
It ain't what you've got, etc etc. Views, folks?