Do you enjoy the sound of your amp with just the guitar plugged in, or do you try and shape the sound a bit more with pedals? If you do use pedals, do you continue with the boutique theme? Lastly, is there an effect that you think should come standard on all amps?
I have a Germino Club 40 and a Victoria 35210. I enjoy the guitar to amp sound very much, especially on the Vicky. That said, I play guitar to amp about .01% of the time. I always have my EQ on to "sweeten" the tone and virtually always have some form of dirt on.
To answer your second question, if anything all amps should come with some tasty reverb. Otherwise, no built-in effects. They sound bad compared to a good pedal IMO.
Victoria Regal II owner here.
1. I love the sound of the guitar direct to the amp.
2. I do use pedals sparingly and I'd say that most of them would be considered "boutique", although I was shopping for sound rather than label.
3. A very good reverb and a bias-modulated tremolo both sound better to me in an amp than in a pedal.
Two here also, and I use a Line 6 modulation modeler when a particular effect is called for. Mostly is just guitar to amp but I am looking into getting a clean boost and I wouldn't mind if a boost function was built into my amps (as it is on my Gibson Super Goldtone).
If the amp doesn't have reverb, like my Aiken Sabre, it's got to have a good FX loop so I can add reverb,,,or delay....[which it does...actually, that amp has 2 loops, one for each channel....
It's not needed all the time, but there are occasions where I end up playing in a really dry sounding room or club, and for that I need reverb...spring reverb like what's on my Rivera or Two Rock, or a loop where I can add Digital Reverb..Boss makes the RV-5 which sounds great..I'm not into rack gear AT ALL, but the current Boss pedals are fine for Delay and Reverb, and they work great in loops, or on your pedal board run strait into a clean amp.......just my 2 cents......
I've always used some effects with almost every amp until I got my Zinky. I just plug and play with it. Especially with my Les Paul. It's just magic. For about a year my effects just kind of sat in my pedal board. Surprisingly enough, my little Epiphone Valve Jr doesn't really see any effects either save maybe a booster. Just like it straight up. As far as every amp having an effect: not really. I like the fact that some of my amps have stuff that others don't. I don't use a whole lot of stuff anymore. Even reverb. If someone were to say that to me five years ago I would have thought they were ridiculous. I just don't use it as much now.
I almost always plug straight in at home, but use just a few pedals (boutique) at the weekly jams I go to a friend's house. Usually just a wah, delay, and boost. If I'm playing my Strat I'll add a comp. Once in awhile I'll use the delay at home, but very rarely. I use the same amp for both, the Swart SST-30, which having a great MV works good for both situations.
I went "upgrade" crazy last year buying all high end stuff including the Swart amp, an R0 LP, and the pedals I now use. Not only is my tone absolutely killer now I'm actually playing a lot more because the gear is so inspiring to use!
I prefer a great clean point to point wired amp with a combination of my pedal choice "de jour". I like boutique amps & pedals because they are made in the USA by small independent builders who pay attention to detail, quality and workmanship. My ears appreciate the sound, thus bringing pleasure. The better I sound to myself, the better I play.