I am always reluctant to recommend that anything is good for everybody, but here is what I am using.
I have a Barber Tone Pump for my overdrive sounds. Hard wire bypass, two channels, built to military electronic standards, sounds great. For myself, I always thought clean boost had very limited use. I turn up the amp, lower the guitar volume and work the clean to slightly overdriven sounds from the guitar volume control. If I am going to use overdrive, I want a little grit in the sound. This box can go anywhere from being pretty clean to just a bit more grit to a good deal of overdrive, but not quite distortion.
I also recently acquired the Whirlwind Gold Box. The founder of Whirlwind was the owner of MXR back in the day. He set out to replicate the sound of the old MXR Distortion+. He could not legally replicate it electronically because Dunlop owns the rights to that. His take was that the new Dunlops, despite aping the original design, did not sound wise deliver an authentic reproduction of an old Distortion+. Again hard wired bypass (I don't use a switcher, so I like hard wire bypass for most of my pedals) and it does deliver. There is that grittiness in the top end and a nice growl on the lower strings. I can kick in some lower gain on the Tone Pump together with the Whirlwind and really go over the top. I can not attest to the absolute authenticity of the sound replicating the old Distortion+, but I recognize the tone from back in the day as close enough.
These would cost more than the MXR/CAE. You could get a Barber LTD (a single channel overdrive with a bit less gain than the Tone Pump) and the Whirlwind and have some great sonic options also. Still more money than the MXR/CAE, but I think this combo would be of interest to those chasing the sound.