Hey, much love for SM clones! They are pricey, but I think the company knows they can get away it. They are worth it to me. I love the flavor straight out of the can, and have done many things with just the tomato and fresh basil. I've seen a brand of imported plain, crushed SMs for $2, but for the most part SMs are hard to come by at local stores. It's either the clones, or really expensive organic Cento. The Cento comes with basil in it, which is a no go for me.
I've never used the whole, but I've used the diced, which are really more like a rough chop, in soups and pasta dishes. I used the crushed recently in some chili, and it's my go to for pizza. For margherita style, I use it straight out of the can on to the pizza, and sprinkle with chopped fresh basil and garlic powder. For NY style, I mash them a bit and add a little bit of oil, fresh basil, and garlic powder.
I know many folks prefer other kinds of canned tomatoes. I've tried other kinds and they didn't really do it for me. These blow me away every time. I personally think the pies taste more like home than the ones I made with 6n1's. The 6n1's reminded me of american style chain pies I used to get in Michigan.