Looking for a new keyboard, need some advice.

OK, so I'm in the market for a new keyboard and I'm looking to get my first mechanical in years. My only mechanical keyboard experience has been a tenkeyless Model M space saver, which I am now using again since my Steelseries Apex has been crapping out (keys are worn out and sometimes catch when pressing, that's what I get for wanting pretty lights for cheap). I love the Model M, but it's just so loud.
I picked up a cherry switch tester and 9 switches. I was really hoping that the Clear might be the solution, or maybe a white since it's isn't as loud as some other clicky switches, but they aren't quite doing it for me. I guess maybe I was expecting a smoother feel out of them, but the keystroke on my Model M seems smoother if you can believe that.
I guess I'm just looking for some recommendations. Like, should I just try a full keyboard with clears or whites and see if it's different, or should I just skip cherry all together? Or should I just make my wallet scream in pain and get a Topre :). Brand isn't really important. This is more about the switches.
If it helps any, I do a fair bit of gaming. Some FPS, sometimes MMO's, Macro keys aren't important. I never used that stuff on the Apex anyway. I want a nice typing experience and some noise is ok, just not Model M or MX blue level of noise.
I'm also not opposed to building my own keyboard. Hell, that actually sounds like fun :).

Jun 4, 2017
If it were me, I'd stick with that Model M and learn to love the noise. If you're looking for a smoother feel, you might investigate Gaterons or Zealios. Both of them are smoother than the equivalent Cherry switches that I've used. Zealios in particular might be good for you since you seem to be interested in tactile switches (not that Gateron doesn't make tactiles).
If you're interested in building a board, there's a drop open now for a ZealPC PCB that looks pretty cool. I'd be all over it if I hadn't already blown my budget on the XD60.
If you decide you want to part with that Model M spacesaver, let me know... :-D
Jun 5, 2017
Edit: Fixed my reply so it's an actual reply. Not used to this commenting thing on here yet :).
Thanks for the help. I was curious about the Gaterons and the Zealios. Guess I'll just have see if I can buy a few of each to try out. I also really, really want to try out something with Topre switches or even Topre knock-offs. Watched and listened to as many videos of typing on a Topre as I could and they sound amazing. Just wish there was a good way to try them out before I shell out $100+ for a whole board. I guess I could just try for the Plum 87 drop, but 35g sounds too light. Read a short review where a guy was comparing it more to a cherry blue as far as key weight is concerned, so that might be ok. And sorry, but even if I don't use my Model M, I still love that board. It's pretty much a collectors item to me and it isn't going anywhere :).
Jun 6, 2017
Well, it was worth a try to pry that spacesaver loose...
I don't have any experience with Topre, and I'd kind of like to try one out, but the cheaper drops seem to come up only after I've recently bought a new board or just plain don't have the money. Topre is on my list to try some day, along with vintage Alps switches.