That's a LOT of opinion crammed into one post. Impressive.Joe:
I just bought a Musical Paradise tube amp for $200, called an MP-301.
It's a single-ended 6V6/6L6 amp, well made, reliable (one friend has been running his for about a year now, no hiccups or worries), and conservatively designed.
It eats up your entire $200 budget, and its only 6W/ch. on a good day.
But its a heck of a 6 Watts, plenty for a dorm or apartment, and it SMOKED an ARC CA-50 in perfect operating condition by direct comparison!
It isn't speaker fussy, it has tight bass, its dead quiet!
It uses $10 tubes, and sounds ACE with them!
Did this grate on people after awhile? I'm less intrigued after the 2nd post I've read than I was with the first. Its certainly entertaining.