I'm not very good at giving detailed advice about how to achieve a good sound, but I will give you something to think about:
"A guitar sound that works well in live situations usually is not what works in the studio."
In other words, experiment with amp settings, effects(if any) settings, mic placements and mic pre-amp settings,... Do all of this while focusing on your RECORDED, not the sound actually coming out of the cabinet which is probably what you are most used to as a guitarist. If you're doing this on your own, without having your amp in a seperate soundproof booth, this can be a time-consuming but very educational thing to do.
Experimentation is the key word here.
Another useful thing you can do is really analyze some of your favorite recorded guitar sounds. This takes a very good ear though, most people tend to misinterpret what they hear on CDs because of all the different things going on in those recordings. I'm talking about more than just mentally seperating the different instruments and their musical parts, but also their frequency range and harmonic structure/content. Once you 'get it', though, you'll be able to understand what kind of guitar sound works for the sort of recording you're aiming for, and you'll have a much easier time shaping your own sound with those analyzed sounds as an example.
I hope that makes some sense.
PS: Recording direct through just a distortion stomp box usually will give you a very shrill sound. Why? Because you're skipping the part of the speaker cabinet, which works as some sort of low pass filter.(the actual EQ'ing a speaker cabinet does is, of course, a bit more complicated than just cutting off high frequencies) The shrill sound is basically being caused by the high frequency distorted sound that's not being cut off. By going direct like that, you'll have to make up for the fact that you're not using a cabinet, either by doing some EQ'ing yourself after recording through plug-ins, or by using some sort of cabinet simulator. If you're really set on recording directly, you might want to consider a unit that is specifically designed for direct recording such as the Line6 POD.
[Edited by SPL on 09-10-2003 at 07:59 PM]