I just started trying to record stuff last night. I have always wanted to but never tried until last night.

What I did last night for my first song was just to use Goldwave (for editing) and the Goldwave Multiquence for recording. I am just recording by plugging my guitar directly into the computer using a 1/4" to 1/8" converter. I tried the mic jack and also the direct input, both sound about the same...neither are very loud. I really have to boost the volume to get it to a decent level. The actual quality is not as bad as I was thinking it would be but I want better if I am going to spend time on something.

What kind of hardware would be recommended for entry level decent quality recording? Can I run my amplifier into my computer or through some hardware and then into the PC? I have a 1978 Fender Super Twin Reverb which I believe has an output jack. I read a few posts about the m-audio fast track thing and also the line-6 DI, but the sticky post seems to think that neither are very good and it was recommended to use a microphone. Wouldn't a direct input into the computer be the best way to go in my scenario? I'm not out to capture an exact replica of the tone coming from my amp or anything like that.

What would you say is the best basic software package to use for recording multi track stuff. I'm not in a band and would play all of the intruments myself, just mainly for personal enjoyment/hobby.
If it is for personal use then a Direct Input should be fine, when it comes to micing an amp the room accoustics and mic placement becomes an issue, and while it gives a better quality overall, it does take alot more effort.

Personally I have never used the M audio fast track thing and did most my DI recording through a DI box into a mixer, or with the Line 6 Studio GX, I believe the M audio Fast track has the option of a mic input also which the studio GX I have doesn't but there is a model up from the one I have used that also has that.

As for recording straight into a PC, the mic slot on a computer is an option I would definately not use, while it is for microphones, its not designed for recording and is more for webcam mics and things like that rather than proper playback quality.

As for the software, theres a sticky on the forum here listing the various recording packages, but the one most people tend to use at entry level is the free program "audacity"

I hope this helps.
if you get the direct input way i don't think is likely you could use your amp distortion or any effects you wish to use. you would have to get programs such as guitar rig and amplitube to simulate effects for you but the tone isn't that great since it sounds very digital and it needs alot of tweaking on the programs.

best choice is the microphone way since the distortion on the amplifier sounds nicer and also if you use effects and other things you can record those while with the direct input is more of a hassle
my guitar stuff:
ESP JH-600
ValveKing 112
DigiTech Whammy Pedal
Taylor 314CE
Dunlop SW-95 Slash Wah Pedal
Cordoba C7 Nylon String Acoustic Guitar
Metal muff
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster Ash
He was saying the Twin Reverb has an Output Jack, so it is possible to do the direct input from the amp.

EQ may need tweaked as its not coming through the speaker, but it will give a decent sound with the amp distortion and effects.
under no circumstances plug the speaker out on your super reverb into the mic in on your computer. you WILL fry your soundcard and need to buy a new one. celitus was almost half-correct about not using the mic input on your PC -- it was designed for consumer grade microphones. it has nothing to do with the fact that it wasn't designed for recording or playback quality, but the fact that the voltage levels do not match up. that's not at all interesting so i'll say no more on that.

depending on your budget, there are a plethora of options for you. a lot of people around here will recommend the line 6 toneports -- which are ok, they're quite cheap, but really aren't good for doing anything but DIing your electric guitar. what you're going to want is (simply enough): an audio interface. most come with both DIs and mic pres, so you have the option of either plugging your guitar straight in or using a mic. it's really going to come down to preference for DAW (pro tools, cakewalk sonar, cubase, etc.).

some good ones to look at: Digidesign Mbox 2, Presonus Firepod/studio, M-Audio Fast Track.... the list goes on and on, but i've already written a lot more than i intended
also: as you said, DI is probably the best option for you. there are a number of pretty good software amp modelers out there, anyway. of course miking your equipment will sound better (though it doesn't always, if you don't have the right equipment/knowhow), but if you're just doing this as a hobby, it's nothing to worry about.

a fun fact is that, while many people (even me) will tell you digital sucks digital sucks, when used by people who know what they're doing, amp modelers continue to fool even hardened professional engineers. the last comparison test i remember being done was in EM sometime last winter, and their panelists could only distinguish modelers from the real thing 38% of the time.
So with the direct input units like the fast track, I need to run a "vanilla" signal no effects into it then use their software effects?
you don't need to, strictly speaking. you can run your guitar through a distortion pedal or a delay or wah or anything and effect your signal before it goes into the box, but you might not want to. especially for things like delay, reverb, EQ -- those are easy enough to add in later (in your DAW), and you'll then have infinite options as far as changing them or removing them altogether.

but the general rule for recording is the same for every other aspect of music: try it, and if it sounds good to you, you're doing the right thing.