I have a small practice combo which is cheap but sounds ok, one of the main problems I had with it is that it is too loud for my neighbours. I mean we can hear each other farting so a loud guitar combo is a big NO. Regarding the sound, it was a bit on the bright side, not bad, but for a guitar sometimes was a bit too bright. Actually I can't complain too much about the sound. For the price I paid, I was happy that it had a speaker inside. 

Actually this one is a simple operation. There are just few things to lookout for and a bit of soldering knowledge.

The most easy and "barbaric" way to get a strip light is more than cheap. All you need is a long (tall) and slim box, some aluminium foil (food aluminium foil), some liquid glue (not super glue), some sort of tape, a knife, a beer to keep company and 30-40 minutes.