Thanks Greg - actually it was 2 Strads - a ML 37, and a L 25, the first I played for about 11 years, and the second I played for about 9. They were my primary horns and don't get me wrong - I did a lot of decent playing on each of them, but in hindsight, having been on a Schilke as my main trumpet since around 2006 or so, I worked a lot harder on those horns than I had to, both from a performance capability perspective, and in the practice room. I never had valve problems with either one of them though, and the L 25 is actually a decent trumpet. I hand-picked that out of about 20-25 horns at Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center in Wheaton, MD, so it's solid for classical work, but it worked me to death in the Latin band and in the wedding band. It's a nice trumpet for classical playing though - I ended up giving it to my niece when she got into HS and my sister was looking to upgrade her, and it worked well for her.
I should probably apologize for what comes off as an anti-Bach rant - it isn't that I think they are terrible, but they just aren't IMO THE go-to upgrade pro-level trumpet anymore. Not priced where they are and not amidst so many other makes and models that are potentially better instruments. There may have been a time when the Strad was the king of the hill - when I was in HS in the late 1980s it was definitely the default professional model trumpet to be had, although by that point Yamaha was definitely putting a dent in that market.
I also have the additional perspective of having played a number of truly bad Bach Strads too. They were so inconsistent for so long I can't tell you how many times I heard something along the lines of, "buy a Bach, but make sure you play it first to make sure you get a decent one." Conversely, with Schilke, having played some of the modesl that I know work for me, (B1, S32, B6) I could order one unseen and unplayed and know that I was going to get a great horn, no question.
To the OP, good luck with whatever happens next in this situation - I hope Musicians Friend will make things right or that you can somehow get the horn you deserve for what you paid.