IK Multimedia White 2A by justinheronmusic
I was pretty skeptical of IK Multimedia at first. I was more familiar with Waves, and UA. I decided to give IK a chance when they broke away from the awful rack all-n-one style, and plugins could be used individually. I'm glad I did.
The White-2A is a very very good compressor. I use it mainly for bass, vocals, and acoustic guitar. You can push it pretty hard without it taking away from the signal. I tend to slam them pretty hard, and it works out well. This plugin lives on my vocal chain; I love how it smoothes things out.
It does sound like "in the box" compression, but I get that from almost every plugin. The White-2A has the smoothing effect, it has the EQ curve, it has the compression character, and it has the look of an LA-2A. It's close enough for rock'n'roll. It keeps up with UA, Waves, and any other boutique plugin for that matter. All of them are very similar, all of them sound like they are "in the box"; and no plugin will have the weight, the depth, the dimension, and the realism that a hardware LA-2A will add to your signal.