>> I got a neck-through Ibanez MC400 a couple months ago and it is night and day between that and my bolt-on Tele in terms of both sustain and depth of character in the tone. You can play this thing unplugged and it sounds like a guitar, whereas the Tele sounds like a toy.
As someone who besides building a Jerrycaster is totally into Teles, with due respect, if yours sounds like a toy, let me know when you're visiting the Northern Virginia area and I'll be happy to invite you by to try one that is anything but.
On a serious note (not that the above isn't), Leo did not design the Tele to be a sustainiac monster. The Tele's strength, to me - at least that of a classic-type Tele - is in a sharp, defined attack and full, clear response with only moderate sustain.
This is perfect for country, western swing, and general chicken-pickin' antics.
Many Tele players - myself included - typically place a compressor between our Teles and amps. Moderation here is the key. A bit of compression smooths out the initial attack and stretches out the concluding sustain.
Danny Gatton could play a anything
on a Tele and so can I (well, not in the Gatton sense - what I mean is whatever music I can play, generally, I can always make sound good on a Tele).
My own Tele is wired with a 4-way switch to add both PUPs in series. That gives an incredibly fat tone with plenty of bite for which you can, if you want, roll off the top end with the tone knob and sound legitimately humbuckerish.