With a replacement bridge in place, all is well with the world. I have a Wilkinson 'vintage' bridge with 2 1/8 inch string spacing and 2 3/16 inch spacing screws and that seems to work very nicely thank you. It also features staggered holes in the steel block through which the strings are threaded, which it is claimed improves intonation.
I don't really get this myself. The idea is supposed to be that the distance from string ballend (buried in the block) to bridge saddle is now the same for every string, thus improving intonation.
Does the short length of string beyond the bridge really make that much difference? If it does, why is nobody making a song and dance about the distance from nut to machine head on a strat? I mean, there's around a 20mm difference between each string!
Next issue: Strat neck design and truss rods.