I'm a Mesa man deep down inside even though I no longer have one or can afford one. I had one for nearly 10 years and it never ever had any problems, it always sounded killer, people playing a lot of other popular ams asked how I got my tone and were alwyas complementary, I never needed a backup even thoug I gigged 3 times a month. Beautiful amp, I loved it. Single Rectifier first generation.I don't like the Orange amps....at all, if you just sitting in front of it. But they do sound good mic'd through a PA. Kinda like a some Mesa stuff.
Fair enough, to each his own. But I'm not into the Orange sound at all, and I don't have to be.My Orange is awesome. If you need to look at something in terms of gimmicky or not, almost everything has it's gimmick, it's up to the user to see past it. I've had 2 Mesas and would never buy another one.