it's me, percyguitar, the guy with the original problem. While I haven't yet found a definitive solution I have found several things which I'll be checking out and you may be interested in.
1. the guitar tech who I drive 185 miles to visit just finished dropping off my older Strat which required a fret re-dressing and some other work. While I didn't have my other Strat with me for him to look at I explained my problem and he feels that it must be something in the bridge or saddles. He felt it could be a burr in the saddle (although as I mentioned I changed the saddle and it made it better but not completely gone. )
2. I found this statement on a website called www.fretnotguitarrepair.com
"If the saddle is so low that the strings do not angle downward and exert pressure on the saddle before entering the bridge pin hole an odd twangy sound is heard, which I call the "sitar sound".
Creating a "ramp" in front of the bridge pin holes helps increase the strings downward angle and allows a saddle to be shortened even further in some cases. "
The statement is mostly referring to acoustic guitars but may be applicable.
3. Found this comment on www.guitarrepairshop.com
"My high E string sounds like a sitar. Any idea what the problem is?
It could be a low bridge saddle, it could be a flat or backbowed neck. It could be a low nut, or a high fret. It could be a pitted fret or series of frets, it could even be a dirty or bent string. You really have to take it to a repairperson who can give it a thorough evaluation. "
I'll let you know what I find.