To me, it seems the result is "so close but so far" at the same time. I'd still rather record a band live to get the "real" feeling (for a demo) than using a cab impulse and eq'ing like crazy to achieve a "nice try but not quite yet" studio sound.

Cab impulses do an amazing job to create heavy tones, that is, if you play standalone. In a mix, I think it sounds like it's coming from "inside a box", from somewhere else. Whatever software combinations I'm using when recording direct guitar, it seems the guitar tracks doesn't fit.

So, do you think that with the right cab impulse, preamp sims, guitar pick-ups, attitude, picking technique, hair lenght, head banging , whatever combination it needs...you can achieve professional guitar studio results?

I'm using kefir and nick crow's sims.

Right now, I'm still dreaming of puchasing a half-stack.

If you can compare with professional recordings, with sound clips, that would be niiice

Thanks for the answers and have a nice day!!
It's the closest cab emulation there is ...today

But, fear not, www.acmebargig.com has a cab enhancer, which used correctly will give you the energy and dynamics you lose on a IR use.

A good IR is also important. Cathasis IR's are great and www.recabi.net's demo package is great too.
What Catharsis said.
Soundwise, there is very little difference between an IR and a real mic recorded at the same position, when you think about the eq curve. The IR will be a tad, tad thinner, and there'll be some 5-6khz harshness, but thats about it, both of which you can alter with a tiny spot of EQ.

FEEL wise, there is a huge difference, purely because there's no air being pushed at the mic, LIVE. It's like a static image rather than a video or actually being there, if you get what I mean.

To help combat the "feel" problem, use a real amp's fx-out (or preamp out if it has one of course) into your interface (with a load or cab connected of course) and use one of catharsis' impulses, and it'll make a ****ing huge difference in the sound quality and feel of it.

But otherwise, you'll still be high-passing **** anyway to make room for bass, and just cut around 5-6khz a bit, and start using a real amp instead of an amp sim as soon as possible.

Otherwise... You could look into Nebula, but the interface is overly ridiculous, it's unrefined and it's a system hog, so forget about tracking live with it, and there isn't much of a userbase for it, and thus no nebulas anywhere near the quality of Catharsis' impulses. Worth looking into though, because it sounds as good as real.