What you're saying makes sense.
The style is poppy/rock - not at all metal - here's a link to some demos to give you an idea of the feel I'm after (clcik on the Audio button once there) www.sonicbids.com/gilbertandthechicgeeks
I think I'll probably get a Randal MTS setup, and try different modules until I find something I like.
I'm a smaller guy, so I want to find a smaller guitar that feels nice without too much of a sound compromise. I asked on a guitar forum, and they basically said -play a ****ing normal guitar. Hell, I was at a gig the other week, and there were some kids hanging around the stage asking me a million questions. One of them mentioned he was trying to lose weight, and it turned out that all three of them were heavier than me, and they were only 11!!!! So I think I am justified in finding a guitar that I'm comfortable with.
I guess the tone I like is either a nice crunch, not too screamy, or something than moves between clean and a bit of dirt. I like warm tones.
I hope that helps!