This wont help your decision any, but if you are looking at a different shock, id give the kings a good look, too. Im pretty happy with my 5160's but if I change to anything itll be to kings. The metalcloak arms are great.
2013 JK - Metalcloak 3.5" coils and control arms, Bilstein 5160s, Prorock44, Synergy high steer, drag link, track bar and tie rod, PSC hydro assist, RCV front shafts, Reid knuckles, TEN factory rear shafts, 4.88s, 37" MTR, Tom Woods front and rear, antirock front and rear, etc.
Don't get the MC shocks, nor their OME ones....the 5100s are better than the OMEs. Not sure why you would want to use the AEV-tuned 5160s without the AEV springs. I have heard AEV posting that that tuned shocks don't work very well with non-AEV springs. Maybe the AEV-tuned ones from QTech are different and not necessarily mated to the AEV springs? Unless that is the case, I would use the regular 5160s or the 5100s.
2014 JKU Rubicon- all white with tan leather
LOD front bumper, AEV rear bumper, TeraFlex tire carrier, Shrockworks sliders, Method Standard wheels, 35" MTR Kevlars, Englewood driveshafts, Synergy 3" Lift, Rancho 9000XLs, Artec truss, Teraflex C-gussets, Grabars, HotHead Liners, MORE dead pedal, Tuffy underseat box, Uniden 520 XL, 10lb CO2 tank...
The 6 pack shocks allow for more up travel than regular shocks. If you don't use flat fenders you will have to put in bump stops to limit up travel and it will not be worth it having the 6 pack shocks.
If your off road conditions don't require extreme flex you could go with regular shocks
I am running Bushwackers, so I don't think that is a huge issue. And, most of my wheeling is in Tillamook State Forest out here, not much flex needed. But we are headed to Moab in Oct and Rubicon next year so every now and then I will encounter it.
I have the 6paks sitting in their box waiting to be installed next week. I went with the gamechanger and I will let you know how they drive and then compare them to the bilsteins and a couple other shock brands.
I guess the most basic way to answer your question is:
Yup, you can run whatever shock you want. MC sells their own "hybrid" with the OME shocks (HK, if you want to chime in with more on your thoughts here, it mgiht be useful). So, MC themselves validated this concept.
Ultimately, it's all about choosing the shocks that provide the performance you want. The MC shocks are built around maximum articulation - if you don't need that, you can certainly get a set of your favorite shocks to mount up.