I bought a DA generous gardener potted in October, with micro fungi and P+P cost nearly £30 so wasn't cheap. But I must say it was in perfect condition lovely plant. I didnt buy bare root for the same reason Dave said.
I cant say it was worth it yet, but I was very impressed with the condition of the rose.
I was originally buying locally but nearly everyone rose I came across was coverd in black spot.
Personally, I would find buying a container rose from Oct-April a complete waste of the extra expense incurred. In fact if I did so, I would remove all the compost from the pot and plant it bare root, but as always, it's your choice.
I like to wander round GC when their roses are in bloom. You can then have a sniff and perhaps spot any incipient problems. Pick one you like and buy it wherever it suits you .
I grow Lady Emma Hamilton and Darcy Bussell, both have a lovely scent and their growth rate has been as good as floribunda roses. I do find them far more prone to black spot than my other roses..
I have had David Austin roses for 3 years and love them. Planted bareroot in November they established so quickly that when I wanted to move one a year after planting it was quite a job to dig out even for two people. The free catalogue is full of detail and photos and is a good browse so requesting the catalogue could be a good place to start if you are considering ordering.
I ordered loads of bare roots DA roses years ago when we first started doing roses here. I wanted the perfume and disease resistance. However, harsh winters meant quite a few didn't survive so now I buy DA roses from Belgian grower who orders them in and then grows them in pots and thus takes the winter risk for me. i then collect at my favourite spring plant fair in May and get a good, established plant for the same price as the bare rooted ones sent direct. He doesn't have the full range as not all DA roses stand up to our winters.
These days, I grow them on in bigger pots for at least a season before putting them out in the hurly burly of my borders. Generous Gardener is excellent, as are Gertrude Jekyll, Constance Spry, Queen of Sweden and Sceptr'd Isle. William Shakespeare is a wuss that needs nurturing and sheltering. Teasing Georgia is magnificent now I have given her a some shelter form northerly winds.
Moluneux didn't make and nor did one of the Malvern Hills I planted either side of an arch. Benjamin Britten, Geoff Hamilton and Munstead Wood are back in pots while I clean bindweed out of their border. Jacqueline Duprée, Tess of the Durbevilles and Crocus Rose are all doing well in the garden. Graham Thomas almost died so is now in a pot in the greenhouse and Grace couldn't cope at all.
None DA roses are Hot Chocolate - no pong but glorious colour - and Kiftsgate which I have spreading over our south facing house front. It was almost wiped out by a -32C in 2009 but has recovered well. Guinée and New Dawn didn't survive.
I find these days I select single flowers for the bees so will have to see if I can get Dove's suggestion which looks gorgeous.
If we are going into other varieties of roses I adore Rhapsody in Blue,amazing colour and makes good growt.