I fought this battle for the better part of a decade, working to find the ultimate combination of straight-wire tone while still meeting the need for modern effects. I believe I finally found a solution that answers both needs without compromising either one. First of all, I'd say that I have no doubt about it; straight wire without a bunch of pedals is good for pure tone, and also makes me think more musically and more carefully about every note. Nowadays, my entire rig is built around the premise that you generally want both worlds. I plug my tele or (scrapocaster) into my 66 Pro. Then, using my special "Tunnel of Tone" pedal, I take the final output of the Pro...AFTER the output transformer. That's my effects send for my entire reverb/echo setup, which is based around a Lexicon reverb processor driving a totally separate pair of amps (usually a heavily modded Princeton on R channel and a Gretsch 6159 on L) If I need crunch, I will put a heavily modded TS808 in the signal chain, with a true bypass switch. (not a buffered TS808) I don't even run my guitar through my tuner. I have a dead-end output dedicated to the tuner, when needed. In this setup I get the best of both worlds. Straight-wire delight, with all the swirly echoes and reverbs I could ever want, but POST the entire main "dry" amp. It's tone heaven! The only drawback is that I have to tote 3 amps, a small rack, and two suitcases for cords and such. It takes 15 minutes to setup.