Both Zebra and Avenger are beyond my reach right now (ok, I am buying a cool microphone, so I'll be ok<G>), but instead of buying something that won't quite do what I wish I've just put off the purchase for a bit. I understand that the OP is looking for a synth that meets their budget, but sometimes you need to be patient till your budget meets your synth. Then again, a lot of this comes down to personal taste! An excellent suggestion! No risk, no cost, spend some time with a bunch of different synthesizers and get a feel for what you can do with different techniques. You won't find an Alchemy, Zebra, Diva, or Avenger in here (I haven't yet) - but there are some pretty cool tools! Nothing wrong with using 3rd party presets, but for synthesizers I think there is much to be gained by learning to program, or at least modify your own sounds. Preset packs are a great place to start, but every synth I've purchased in the last 30 years came with factory presets. Often a great starting point.