If you know how to use the POD X3, you can get a better sound than from a real amplifier. Not as easily though. POD HD is the current generation, but I still use this for my evergreen cover band. Works more often than doesn't.
Sennheiser MD421. A great friend for SM57 for metal guitars, adds a grainy texture. That little mic stand adapter is AWFUL though, it comes off the mic (= mic falls on floor) if you even breathe at the release button.