I am not a fan of alarm clocks. The shrill alarm is very annoying and my wife never ceases to jump and freak out when the alarm starts beeping all the sudden. Waking to the radio is a bit better, but it never ceases to lose the signal and wake me to white noise that is easy to sleep though. Mostly I wake to one of the tones on my iPhone and that works well enough.
If you are the sort that needs an alternative means of waking from your clock what you need is the Alternative alarm clock. This is a design concept from designer Ki Hyun Kim. This clock looks like a plain old clock on the front, but has two of those strange looking Euro AC outlets on the top. The outlets allow the clock to act like an extension cord and they will turn on whatever you plug into them when the alarm goes off.
This allows you to wake to whatever it is that gets you going in the morning. You can wake to a lamp, coffee maker, or whatever you want. It's an interesting design, but I wouldn’t want to have to look at a couple of cords running across my nightstand all the time. I think I will stick to my iPhone.