Dating a fender amps by transformer
Sure, the reverbs sound great, but when you're playing live only use an echo (I use a digital one - the Boss DD-3.
The typical settings for a rockabilly slapback echo (for guitar) on any unit are between 100 and 200 ms and very few repeats. There I use various digital delay effects (emulating tape echo for instance), as I record without echo and add it in the mix.
I see no problem in that, even if you're trying to get a vintage'ish sound.
Quite on the contrary actually: If it hadn't been for cheap hi-res sound cards, I could never have afforded to experiment and record as much as I have.
Other analogue equipment, like tube preamps, does make sense, but as the digital effects get better, there's not all that much to gain by spending tons of $ on analogue equipment.
The long and the short of it is, that analogue equipment is cool, but often costs too much and is unreliable.