I want to get a microphone for Christmas, but don't have the money to shell out on an 8-track, or big recording interface. Do I need to get strictly USB mics for the computer, I could only see condensors, do they make sm57s for USB? I only have a built in sound card, so how would I go about getting a good quality microphone for the computer.

I'll be using it for acoustic/vocals mostly, so I was thinking condensor would be great for that, but I would also like to record from an amp, with distortion and all that. How would I go about getting a good mic, and clear quality.

Ok, so, depending on how much you want to spend you have options...

from what i've heard USB mics will work but won't give you the quality you need.

Condensers are great options... but need phantom power and are pretty expensive

What i use is a SM-57 which i plug right into the mic jack on my computer using a combination of cables and adaptors and that works pretty well.

The SM-57 will do great on your acoustic AND your amp, it'll do o.k. for vocals... but for the acoustic it'll give you a very crisp and clean recording.

So dynamics are safe if you can plug them in... if you're going to go condenser make sure you know what type of Phantom Power or Pre Amp the mic will need.
Let's say I have like $150 to spend, which kind of cords and things would I need to power the microphone and hook it up to the computer? and what kind of mic would be good for around that much?