I have both a Mackie 802VLZ3 and a Soundcraft EPM12 (same as smaller EPM models but more mono input channels). I use both regularly for live shows. Both have solo, and both use solo for channel level setting.
Both are good mixers for the money, and both handle modular levels gracefully. The Mackie is more of a Swiss Army knife and can do some really nice routing, while the Soundcraft is a workhorse sound reinforcement tool.
I don't really have any gripes about the Mackie for what it is: I always find a way to make it work with a small channel count. The Soundcraft lacks master send levels, which bugs me, and I wish the inserts could be changed to post-aux send ... but that's a sound reinforcement/PA issue most people here won't have a problem with.
If I had to pick one just for utility use with an electronic music setup ... I don't know, probably the EPM6? I don't like the newest Mackies as much as the previous generation, but I don't have anything other than cosmetics to go on.
I don't think any of the Yamahas or A&H's etc. offer much competition in this class of mixer.