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Added some new user pics since i'm now a paid member.
Hooray for that action.

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are digital amps hard to find ((and expensive))?

Okay, here's a mini-course on amp buying :)

Digital amps are not hard to find, but they can be kinda pricey. But for the most part. they suck. There are however; a couple exceptions.
first off, The Fender Cyber Twin
this is, in my humble opinion, the best digital amp on the market, now this comes with a disclaimer, this is the best amp for "live" use on the market. I think some others sound better in the studio, but that's a whole differnt ball of wax. The down side of the Cyber twin is, well, it's gonna run at least a grand new. Worth it? Yeah, but i think that might be a little more than you need, so i would suggest looking for one of these
it's a 2x12 Fender Deville, which is a great amp (i have a 4x10 Deville, but i would trade it for the 2x12 model in a heartbeat).

Also check out the Fender Bassman
i love this amp!! It's really the amp that started rock and roll, and it's just as good today.

By the way, you can often find these amps used, online, on at guitar center or at some of the better mom and pop stores round town (j.gravity for instance).

Now, here's an amp i really like quite a bit, Heather (from my old band Climber - climbermusic.com -) uses this amp, it's from Peavy, it's a Classic 2x12
and it really sounds nice. A great clean tone and works really well with pedals. Plus, it's useally way cheaper than a Fender (yet sounds just as good me'thinks)

Now back to digital. The best true digital amps (the fender digital uses tubes, which i like, but add headaches sometimes) come from Line 6, the one best suited for you would be the Flextone II,
the only bummer about Line 6 stuff is that live, it doesn't really have the punch needed for loud rock, but thats not the end of the world, unless you have a really loud drummer in your band, and then it sucks. Line6 also has a Spider line of amps that are less expensive, but i recommend staying away from those, the speakers in those have a tendincy to blow out after a couple months.

The thing to do in your case, would be to take a sat afternoon, or any day during break, and drive around town to some guitar shops, not the ones in the county, but the ones more towards the city, look in the yellow pages, get some addys, get on mapquest, set up some directions and make a day of it. I think in your case, it would be best to find a nice used amp to call your own (i've never even bought a new amp and i own 5 or 6!!!)

Take your guitar, plug into an amp and see if ya like it.
A couple things, listen for crackel, get a really clean sound dialed in, then turn it up loud! Do the speakers sound bad? It shouldn't really break up (distort) unless you've got it almost as loud as it will go. (don't mind the sales guys, just tell them you wanna hear it before you buy it, if they won't let you turn it up, tell them you can spend your money somewhere else!) Try all the knobs and buttons, make sure everything works, leave it on for awhile and let it heat up (if it's a tube amp), make sure all the tubes light up, they should have a nice gold and or blue glow about them.

The amp should have a nice solid sound, when turned up, it should be loud and also the sound should have some weight to it, like you can feel the sound. But also make sure that it sounds good at low volumes since thats what you'll be using most of the time. Okay, thats all for now, feel free to ask any questions, or if you're out shopping and have a question, feel free to call anytime, 314-283-7976.

Also, unless you're super stoked about an amp, try getting all the details and then get a hold of me before buying.

Okay, good luck!!!

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