what i've got: deluxe american strat sss thru hot rod deluxe

what i could get: les paul standard, gibby firebird, or make my own van halen-esque guitar

or jcm 800 or 900 w/ 2x12 avatar cab or maybe even a mesa lonestar

If i get an amp, i ditch the hot rod, but if i'm not getting rid of the strat no matter what cuz i love it.

my current setup does great cleans/ srvish blues but poor hard rock/metal

I don't use cleans much at, but i like the SRVish tone, but don't need to be able to nail it. Some tones i'd like to be a little closer to: AC/Dc, zeppelin, especially van halen

My prob w/ my current setup is mostly that overdriven chords get muddied up/ lead tone isn't as bold as it could be.

i'd like to run my strat thru a jcm 800--if i did this would the fact that i've got noiseless pups produce some clearer chords?

I'm not looking for hardcore disturbed type distortion, but i want to be able to maybe even go as far as metallica w/o sounding bad.

What do you guys think: amp or guitar
jcm 800 sounds what you are looking for. Throw in a tube screamer and you got 80's metal(including metallica, slayer,testament etc)
I traded in my Real Books for Robbins and Cotran Pathology Textbooks
Well your amp has a bigger influence over your sound than your guitar, but your fingers have a bigger influence over sound than your amp, so if the guitar would help you play better, go with that, if not, go for the amp.

You already seem to have a good setup, and have two good choices. The humbuckers on the LP could help that fat sound, as could the Marshall. It's really a choice that you have to make yoruself based on what you feel you need.
"A wise man once said, never discuss philosophy or politics in a disco environment." - Frank Zappa
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<Frenchy> I'm such a failure
Get the JCM 800.
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dont buy an amp, amps are just stupid.

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oiled... i like the feel of oiled wood in my hands... wow, that was homosexual...