So I've been looking to get a half stack for the first time and the type of sound I wanna get out of it is a pretty solid metalcore/deathcore sound. I've heard about the Mesa Boogie Rectifiers, engl powerballs, and peavy 5150's, but I just don't have the kind of money for that. If anyone can suggest some good head/cab combos in the $500-$1000 range than I'd be very thankful. I'd prefer the price to stay closer to $500 but all suggestions are welcome.
What guitars, pickups and effects do you use? Do you have any bands as examples?

It might be worth looking at Blackstar, Randall and Hughes & Kettner. Look into a decent boost or distortion pedal too.