Thanks, mates. All great suggestions. I am aware of most of those authors/ series, but not all. I'll do a bit more homework on them. It is so hard to know who and what you are going to like! I keep having 'altered carbon' recommended to me so maybe i'll give it a try next.
Have any of you read John C. Wright's series that I mentioned? I would love to find something comparable. (I secretly want some kind of official rating system called 'IPP' which stands for Ideas Per Page - and you can say something like, "Well Hamilton rates at about 4.2 new IPP, but the third in the trilogy is only a 2.3...")