My two cents on this discussion: if you're playing live, and with tube
equipment, never underestimate the contributions of the power amp.
Regarding pod vs. v-amp, I've owned both, and ended up ditching the pod
because I never used it. The more overdriven the sound, the better the
v-amp sounds than the pod. The cleaner the sound, the better the pod
sounds than the v-amp --- excepting in-betweeny sounds, where the pod is
Most of what I do involves a guitar that's been distorted to within an
inch of it's life, and my experience is that the v-amp is hands down
superior in that regard. The sound is thicker, warmer, and has more
burn --- the pod, OTOH, sounds rubbery, and has a sort of glassy sheen
to the high end.
However, for in-betweeny to clean sounds, the pod smashes the v-amp.
That same rubberiness and glassy sheen makes for a really fat, plucky
tone for cleanish sounds. The v-amp sounds thin and anemic, light a
fire that's underfed, when it's not being driven.
I have no idea if that's at all what the product manufacturers intended,
but that's the way it is to my ears, at least.
"So this baby seal walks into a club."