The pickups are the heart of an electric guitar. People debate about how the sound is affected by string gauge, bridge, body woods, necks, fretboards, even finishes. There's probably someone prepared to tell you inlays make a difference. But no-one questions the pick-ups' contribution. All the other factors change the sound in different (sometimes imaginary) ways, but it's the pickups that pump it out. Fortunately changing them is much easier than a heart transplant.