Vindicator was the other option over Kronos back before marauder changes. For the cost it was sometimes better depending on who you asked. I like kronos a lot more these days though.
Can’t speak much for vargur/mach. Thing is vargur you’d bastion up alot so it not be like a machariel. Machariel is more run and gun that I ahve seen it. You keep it floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.
Minmatar space sees all the rats so you will se it work whatever. Minmatar would better handle angels ofc with better ammo specificity.
My kronos runs in caldari space. Still sees all the rats and I can’t complain. Kronos’ edge, for me, is its lazy ammo picking. I run null/void only. Possibly not the most isk efficient (some get picky to save their iskies here) way. I like cut and dry and easy so I am happy.
Test server also so an option as well to save isk on the real server to experiment so keep that in mind.
Either path you’d also be playing with MJD possibly. While not a fun level 5 skill I will say I am happy I trained it for my kronos. I MJD around alot. So shorter cooldowns (over marauder bonus) is liked alot.