Yes i know, there's hundreds of these "which amp" threads already and mine is no different from any of the others. However, as the guy in my local music shop seems to take pleasure out of patronizing me i thought this was the best place to enquire.

Basically I'm looking for an amp under £250/$500

Im not sure which i would like better but at the moment I'm leaning towards an SS.

Its mainly for home use and band practice, it will be used for gigs but i can mic it up or line out, thats no problem.

sound quality is essential, i need a nice clean tone but some great clean distortion, i know thats an oxymoron, but something where the distortion sounds crisp and clear and tidy.
Eg. Steve Vai etc etc

Its alot to ask for such a small budget but students finance leaves me with no other choice.

Feedback is gratefully received.

sounds like a laney VC combo could sort you out for those kinda tones. Never played one before, but i hear very good things from them, check them out...
Oh my, just looked at laney prices in the US, too much probably. They're much cheaper here...
You won't get those sounds with ss as all your favorite artists probably use tube. You could go for a fender amp for thegreat cleans and ad an od to get your gain.
if u live in the usa get a carvin vintage 16 as carvin is what steve vai uses and in uk yeh somthing like a laney