If you don't go stereo, the character series pedals go for about $149 a piece, so the M13 + amp sim is still cheaper. Of course, for the context of this list, that means you either need to live with the M13 looper (so maybe stereo amp sim doesn't matter) or already have one's own looper already.
Has anyone found a good stand for laptops if one goes that route?
On a slightly related note, I was comparing my Yamaha S90ES against using it to control some of the instruments in Ableton Live. It just didn't feel nearly as responsive until I went and cranked down the buffer size. How tight do the pure laptop users in this group generally run their audio buffers?