I also have the Epiphone, picked one up for $100 around a year ago from musiciansfriend.com (they've since upped the price a little). Running it through a vox 2x12 and it sounds pretty great, definitely something I'd recommend looking in to.
For roughly a period of 6 months i had a marshall mg30dfx and and marshall dsl401 side by side and played through each one to see the differences. I found that the cleans just simply sounded far superior on the dsl but once you distort it the diference is less apparent... that is until you turn the dsl up a notch, then it comes into its own. In the house i generally don't crank the amp much unless i'm recording, but i definitely prefer the Valves over the solid state.
tube amps allow for a lot more depth in your playing... like I said in another thread - they are responsive to how hard you play, unlike a solid state amp or an OD pedal... the harder you play the more OD you will achieve and the softer you play, the more it will clean up. Also responsive in this way to the volume control on your guitar.
A lot of people say tube amps sound a lot more 'honest'. I tend to agree.