i think the mesa is the way to go. if you're looking for metal, mesa will blow away marshall. i have a trem-o-verb and i also have an old marshall '87 jubilee 50w, and in my opinion, the mesa kills that thing. the only thing that the mesa can't do is get you a randy rhoads-ish tone. afterall, he was a die-hard marshall user, so i guess you can't expect everything from an amp.