I have about 4 Strats (or Strat-like contraptions), and 2 Teles. I play them when they fill the bill. Some songs just call for those tone flavors. I try to pick the guitars that fit best with the songs we will be playing that week.
Sorry about the medical problems you are experiencing, but I am glad that your transaction finally worked out as expected. Fret sprout is really no biggie and can be expected with the climate changes that guitars are exposed to.
The grain looks like rosewood. I have a few ebony fretboards and none of them look like that. It would be simple to add a little dye to rosewood to achieve that color. You could send it down to Forensics for a test.