I just got a laptop for my graduation. I really want to get some recording gear for it. What do any of you recommend. I play metal so it has to be able to handle distortion.
Assuming you have a nice amp...

Sm57= $100

M-audio "audio box"=$150

Total $250
LTD Alexi-600 White & Black
LTD Alexi-200 Black(Death Adder pickup & Gold OFR)
Agile Interceptor Pro 727 7-string
Jackson JS30RR rhoads
Jackson DKMGT
Squire telecaster

Bugera 6262 212 loaded with WGS veteran 30's
I'm recording guitar. The budget is under $300 and im getting a new amp (fender frontman 65r 65w) since my currnet amp is a line 6
A frontman is not an improvement over the spider.... but any sort of interface like the M-Audio one mentioned will be great with an SM57.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
you'll regret buying the Frontman, the spider will probably have better distortion.

as said above, all you need is a mic and a USB mic preamp, like the M-audio, lot's of brands make them.
read through some of the threads in the recordings forum. this kind of question is asked all the time, so you should be able to get an idea of what you need with a bit of reading.