I would vote for the Distressor. It has its own sound but is still very versatile and can provide you with some of the mojo of the vintage units you were mentioning. The Crane Song Trakker gets a lot of love around here probably for a good reason, although it will likely be more "hifi" and transparent than the grit-capable Distressor.
Whatever you get, make sure it has a full range of controls: attack, release, etc. If you're going to drop $2K for a compressor without attack and release (LA-2A), I'd drop it on a EL Fatso instead. Granted, if you want that thick LA-2A tube sound, the only way to get it is buy an LA-2A.