Im a huge tone guy, it has to be perfect..im looking in the 500/700 dollar range...what are some good options?
Bees in a tin can.
Nope. I'm sure I won't be the first, but look into a tube combo.
I own a Crate GT1200HS, which is the same thing minus the effects and maybe a couple of other inconsequential items. I've found that the tone is actually quite customizable, having independent high/low/mid knobs on the clean and rhythm channels. the lead, however, is a bit trickier, having only shape (pretty much contour) and gain. you're certainly not going to get a great, tube-like tone, but the head does a pretty good job of simulating one. depending on what you are into playing, those can be very good, but so can randalls, if you like heavier stuff.
personally, I think Crates suck
I have the combo version of this. I used to hate crate, then the otehr guitarist in my band got one of these. i was very impressed with it sound. It souds pretty good, no match for a tube amp of course, but its decent, and should be loud enough for anything. I would of course reccomend a nice tube amp, but this is not bad if you need something cheap.