Arrghh!! I am at the apex of frustration. I think the internet and forums like this are good because of the amount of information that can be shared. On the other hard, when you are trying to make a decision on gear you can go out of your mind with all the contradictory opinions. Anyway.... For the last month I've been trying to decide on a gig amp/rig for a band that will be taking shape in August. So, I still have a month left to figure things out. I have been reading, researching, going to to music stores and trying gear, and still I seem no closer to deciding on anything. I'm still not sure I understand the best concept of what I should be looking for. I have the following "ideas" though: 1) Ampeg B-100R combo. I used to own one, I know it is a great amp and will give me exactly the sound I want. It is comparatively small and light and the least expensive of my options. The downside is that I don't think it would be sufficient withough PA support. The guitarist plays through a Marshall Valvestate 100w half stack. I have a passive DI box, I guess I could go through PA, but it seems like a roundabout solution and kinda a pain in the butt. 2) Hartke 5500 head with VX410a angled cab or XL410. Used to own a 3500 so I know I'll like the 5500, plus it's so cool in it's little wooden cabinet. It would look great with the angled cab. Pretty cool, like a mini guitar stack. Now, I tried the XL series cabs and I am a on the fence about them. They sounded a little hi fi, but I wasn't using my usual Jazz bass, so I didn't have an accurate idea. I have not tried the VX series, but on paper it seems more what I would like. The downside to this rig is that everyone says Hartke cabs suck in a bad bad way. This is very disheartening. I don't want to buy a cab that is going to explode or burn the house down. 3) Hartke 5500 head with Avatar B212 cab. A lot of good info on here about Avatar...and a lot saying they aren't effient and/or don't handle low frequencies well. I don't know how low I will need to tune. Though I prefer my 4, I do have a 5 string, so I would hate to buy a cab that farts out with low notes. Again, confusing info on the internet. As for Ampeg, it really seems like to get something decent with the power I need (aside from the B-100R) I would have to go way out of my price range. I'm trying to keep it under $1000. Same with Ashdown, SWR, etc...even Peavey. And unless I find an absolutely perfect deal, I am pretty opposed to going used. So that's where I stand. If you have read this far, I thank you and commend you for your humanitarianism. As I said, I have a month to go, but I think it's time to start forming these ideas in my head into some kind of coherant plan. I feel like I will be recounting this experience to a therapist someday. I look forward to any advice.