#1
So I'm sick of my Spider III, it went from sounding to like a squealing cat to a squaling cat drowning in mud. Now Christmas is coming, and I need to make a decision for a replacement. My ideas are as follows:

Fender Blues Junior + Digitech Bad Monkey ( 522$ )

I had the chance to try it out, it sounded really really nice, it's just that you need to turn it up to get any overdrive. I didn't get to try the pedal though.

Laney LC15r ( 525$)

My original idea. I haven't tried it but based on this I really like it. CLeans are pretty good, almost as good as the Blues Junior, Plus it has the overdrive, effects loop, two inputs, and a bright switch, so I'm a little biased towards it.

I'm inclined towards the Laney, and I wanted to explore the other otions around the same price. My guitar is a fully standard Ibanez S470DXQM, and I play lost of blues, classic rock like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc., Steve Vai, Opeth and hard rock in general.
#2
Just FYI, you can make the LC15R sounds a lot better when you crank the volume instead of relying on the distortion knob. Cranking the volume gets a much better sound, but it has to be f'n loud before the tubes really start to break up. I highly recommend a pedal getting a pedal so you you can get awesome overdrive at lower volumes, and a pedal would enable the tube to do some metal which it really can't on it's own.

You could probably haggle a salesperson into throwing a Bad monkey in for free if you pay the full$525, because the price on that amp always seems to be fluctuating. About a month ago Guitarcenter.com had them for $450.

Anyway, good luck

PS: I do actually own an LC15R so if you have any question I'll do my best to answer them...
#3
I'd go for the Laney + OD, or a Vox XL.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
#5
With the amp fully cranked without an OD, I'd say about early metal-ish. Iron Maiden, early Black Sabbath sort of stuff...