Playing at rehearsals studios is a terrific way to learn about amplifiers.
At tonight's Tyrannosaurus Mouse rehearsal, I played a Peavey Classic 50 and the good ol' standby Traynor YCV50 (or... YCV80? Maybe?).
The Peavey was the "clean" amp and the Traynor was the "dirty", I blended them together with my A/B/Y switch. Worked very nicely. I was freakin' loud and both Ethan and Lou complained I wasn't loud enough. Told Ethan that if I turned up he had to turn up. We're the only band in the history of mankind that has ever had that particular argument.
Anyway, I have to say that my favorite amps of the mass-produced kind are now Peavey and Trayor and, er, Blankenship. Which is funny because those three amp brands beat out not only Fender and Marshall but a LOT of boutique brands.