I have owned my Spirit since 2007 and I am very happy with it. It plays like a dream and amazingly stays in tune for days and even weeks on end, even after overseas travel and temperature changes. I wish my Strats could stay in tune for just one day... I use it mainly for composing into my DAW and so push it through a lot of effects and a recording desk, and the sound coming out of the stock EMG Select pickups is as good as anything out there. I have the HSH pickup configuration but in retrospect I should have ordered the HSS configuration i.e. 2 single coils and 1 humbucker - IMHO single coils just sound cleaner (but then I am more a fan of the Strat sound than the LP sound....) This guitar plays and travels really well and when stashed in its Steinberger hard shell case (obtained from Sam Ash for $79) it fits into every type of aircraft I have been jammed onto so far, including a few turbo props with small overhead lockers. Build quality is excellent (except for one issue, detailed below) and getting the double ball strings has been no problem - around $10 for a set of GHS online. In terms of setting up and maintaining, once the guitar is set up properly, it will keep its settings just like any other, so I am not sure what the issue is here? I base this on the fact that recently I decided to set it up from scratch i.e. neck adjustment for lower action, full bridge height re-calibration, string scale length reset, tremolo tension set (more on this below), etc. and yes, it took me a good 6 hours to do this, and it is a bit tricky to figure everything out (although I found out afterwards there is online material that could have helped.....duh) but since then it has been performing flawlessly and has not needed any additional maintenance or tweaking. So I can't see why it would need more frequent maintenance and setting up than any other guitar? Even though this model is 'made of wood' it feels tougher than all my other guitars put together.
The only issue I have is that apparently my guitar was an early 2007 build out of the Korean factory, where production was restarted after a multi-year pause. And so my tremolo block is not aligned properly with the body and will make contact with the body if I attempt to use it i.e. scratch the paint. I did not notice this at first as I don't generally use a tremolo, but recently I decided to give it a try and saw the problem, so I have just hard-tailed it again. I think I might contact Steinberger about the problem because it is clearly a manufacturing alignment issue (in my opinion) and not something I might have messed up, or that could be called 'fair wear and tear'. I might just get lucky and get something done under warranty. Then again, I might not....
I can really recommend this little guitar and with a street price of around $400 you can't go wrong. It plays a treat, it is so portable you can take it anywhere, and it is built like a little tank. I would certainly get another one if this one were stolen or damaged. Hope this helps!