I've long been on the hunt for Amp Emulating software that isn't crap.
Obviously nothing beats the real sound of of a 70's jcm marshall head but in the long run when resources are low and a $500 program may be able to fullfill the needs of a home based studio , What would you suggest?
If you are a pro tools user, Digi's 11 is an improved upon amp farm, got some nice possibilities. Though lately, I have really been digging using custom impulse responces for cabs, and revalver lets you do that, but seriously, download the softube demos!!!
they have come a long way. i agree there's nothing like crankin' my half-stack, but amps sims improve your workflow. no miking, and you can easily switch between sounds with a click of the mouse, not setting up another amp.
my experience with amp sims is that each have their stengths and weakness.
Guitar amp pro with logic has probably 20 tones that i use all time time. then there's a bunch that sound pretty bad.
I also have amplitude 2 and Hendrix. THOSE ARE EXCELLENT!! great brown tones. especially the hendrix, i was really surprized how good it sounds.
again, most are good, but there are some bad sounding ones.
I use an LA-610 in front with alot of tube drive which helps.
check out a company called softube, they make a really nice emulator too, but it's pricey.
when you solo an amp sim, you can tell it's not exactly the real thing. however, when you put it in a mix, it's really to where i can't tell.
i want to check out 11. the online demos sound pretty good, so far the only model of a soldano i've seen.
bottom line - I'm not going to get rid of my tube amps, but i love 'em, especially at 2AM. i also can't afford to get 10 different tube amps.