You get a very nice tone, but they're not the most versatile of amps - the Hellcat is probably the most versatile.
I don't think any have more than one set of tone controls, and only the MK50 has 2 master volumes.
Depends what you want to use them for. The best expose of the possibilities is probably Guthrie Govan, so it might be worth investing in his solo cd (Erotic Cakes).
i'm still on the quest for a be all end all amp for me as i am tired buying different amps and then selling them because they dont cut it for something i am doing at the time.
need something like 3 channels, great clean, great rythem crunch that can get heavy, and 3rd channel would be complete thick smooth lead. footswitchable volumes would be nice, aka setting solo channel louder then rythem channel.
thats really the main thing i want, effects loop too.
Unfortunately, Cornford doesn't make a 3 channel amp. Having said this, it's amazing what you can do with an MK50's two channels (each with it's own master volume which is what makes the design particularly versatile) [oops! It's a single, but damn...sure acts like a 2 channel] and the overdrive switch.
I checked out your tunes and judging by your choice of covers it would seem that the Cornford line is right up your alley as the Cornfords all have a more classic rock vibe going on. In my opinion they are not modern voiced. They have been described as being "Mid-Atlantic" sounding (I guess meaning somewhere between British sounding and American sounding). You can boost them to infinity and beyond if you so choose, but left alone they are plenty gainy (unless you're into HEAVY and then you're going be shopping for an Ubershall or Engl, etc).
I have a Harlequin, a Hellcat and an MK50 and I love them all. The one I find most versatile and the one that I will almost certainly never sell would be the MK50. My 2 cents is to suggest you put the MK50 on your short list and check one out if you get a chance.
Edit: I just reread your post and noticed that you believe you aren't going to get a chance to try one. The next best thing?:
The Hellcat has 2 channels, but only one master volume.
The MK50 has 2 masters, 1 channel, but 2 gain stages, so close I guess. The RK100 only has 1 master.
They all sound great, it depends on just how important the versatility side is to you I guess.
What have you tried?
I'm very happy with my Elmwood Modena 60, doubt I'll ever replace it. 2 channels, 2 gain stages per channel, 2 master volumes, F/X loop with mix control, pentode/triode switch.
If it just has a switch for the F/X loop that'd be the biz, but I don't think any amp does everything.
Matamp are in the process of developing a 2 channel version of their 1224 amp, that might do the job but it's some months away.
Some ENGL amps have all these features (the Screamer, the Powerball), but you have to like the tone - I think they're based on a Fender design so the crunch sounds are hit & miss.
And of course there's the new Marshall JVM line, but I'll probably get banned form the forum for mentioning them!!!
Not that I like 'em, just for completeness.
Cornford now makes the new MK50 II which is a two channel amp. I also have a Hellcat, which is an EL84 based amp with the most beautiful cleans on one channel and very liquid leads on the high gain channel. My next purchase is for a Modena M60 in the near future, but the Cornford isn't going anywhere. :AOK