I am planning on buying a Classic Vibe, but I tried out a Vintage Modified in the store, and thought it sounded really good, and felt good too. I am now wondering if the Classic Vibes are actually worth the extra money.
They are, pick one up. Better hardware, electronics, Craftsmanship, feel, etc.
I think they're generally more solid. Same cash gets you tons of used MIM gear as well, it's worth looking used.
a few things to consider. the vintage vibe has alnico pickups (vintage style of course and more true to the old strat sound). the VV is made of alder (traditional strat wood). it also has vintage style tuners which you may or may not like (i hate them). the VM has duncan design pickups which aren't bad and may sound better for certain things. it is made of basswood as are many shred style guitars these days (but obviously not a traditional strat wood like alder and ash). if you have played both and prefer one over the other then i'd go with that as your hands and ears need to be the ultimate decision maker. stat sheets are fine and on paper one might appear "better" but that isn't always the case. i have a high end US strat and a modded MIM but for whatever reason the MIM just happens to work better for me so is my #1 despite it being inferior on paper.
I would say so. In terms of features they're summed up pretty well by monwobobbo; essentially the CVs are truer to the vintage models in most of the places where it counts. In general, both ranges - or at least all the models I've seen from both - actually have the vintage-style split-shaft machine heads (which I think are far easier to work with and generally better than "normal" ones but yeah, that's on you to figure out whether you want that). I think both of them are serious competitors in their price range, but while the VMs (within 2 standard deviations or whatever) vary between alright (i.e. their Jags and Jazzmasters were - in my opinion - not great right out of the box) and seriously impressive (their basses in particular, the Teles and the '70s Strat - of course individual instruments vary too and this is based on my own experience so there are a couple I haven't tried), I'd say the CVs are pretty consistently at least impressive. If you prefer a VM model's feature set you can almost certainly find one that's about as good as a CV.