I'd recommend getting a hot rod deluxe if you want versatility. There are alot of P&W players and Bad cat owners who will want to steer you towards the direction of the AC 15, but in reality if you plan on using pedals, the best amp under 1000 is the HRD III. I've owned tubescreamers, ktr, bogner burnley, OCD, fulldrive 2, VFe Blues king , Analogman prince of tonea and finally the Boss blues driver. Only maybe the blues driver, boss bd, and vfe blues king worked. If you plan on using fuzz boxes, forget it for the AC 15.
Another thing, while people will rave about the Ac 15 being "chimey" and clean, there are the drawbacks with using it. For one, it can definately be fatiquing to the ear. Some have recommended removing the bright cap for that, but it also causes increased hum some of the times.
I love the Vox ac 15, but I just have to limit what pedals i can use. I have a boss dd3 whose trails sound harsh on that amp. It's unfortunate.
What kind of music do you play? What tones are you chasing after? What kind of gear do you currently use? I'm trying to figure out how your choice is between two amplifiers only, and very different breeds of amplifier as well. The amp plays a BIG role in the final tones you will be able to get.
I'll revise an old carpentry quote, "Research twice, buy once". Done this the wrong way too many times, you will lose $$$ every time. Research, research, research. You're on the right website.