IMO the red stripe Peavey bandit is THE best solid-state amp ever made. I do not think you will get a better solid-state amp(which it looks like that's all you are interested in). Under most circumstances, I would say expensive amp cheap guitar. But in this case, I would say stick with the Signature strat + Red stripe peavy bandit hands down! That's a very cool rig! And your right the drive on the bandit is not great, but, that's what pedals are for. I would suggest trying to get your hands on a tube-driven OD(like the ones from Kingsley). Something like that into the bandit will blow your nips off.