Hey, Im considering buying some new gear seeing as how im unsatisfied with what I currently own and am looking for some suggestions. I really like metal, especially 80's type stuff.

I currently have a fender stratocaster, which I bought about a year ago when i got serious about playing the guitar. At that point, I didn't really know the differences between brands, pickups, or anything else. I got a Crate GFX-30 guitar amp as a gift and am using this with my strat. I really would have preferred a nice 150 watt amp, and also looking to buy one after selling this amp (I have absolutely no idea about most amps and could really use some help in this area as well). One of my friends has an ltd F-250 (I think) and i absolutely love the guitar he's got. It leaves me wanting to play nonstop. I come back to my guitar at home and just feel completely unsatisfied with my choice in guitars and soon lay it down for my acoustic guitar.

The strats perfect for just about everything but metal, which I now know. He also has a bose distortion pedal which I also like. I was wondering if anyone could suggest a guitar-amp-footpedal combination that would leave me playing guitar day and night. Is there a footpedal-amp combo that could really bring out my guitar, or should I just go with something entirely different. Ive got about 400 dollars to put into some new equipment, or I could sell it all and start from scratch again. Ive looked at the LTD AX guitars, which look to have similar pickups, but since we play together I wouldn't want to have the exact same sound. Thanks for the time and suggestions.
Your sound comes mostly from your amp.

400 isn't gonna get you much, hate to say it. Try saving around 700 and getting a nice tube amp.
if you get a new guitar you would want one with humbuckers for shure... possibly an ibanez RG ?
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yeah im definately gunna go with humbuckers from now on, and if mainly the amp makes the difference I could take some more money and get a nice one, but what would u suggest? I've played my guitar on my friends amp, and his guitar in it blows mine away.
What's his amp?

I'd recommend:
Roland Cube 30, Cube 60

Peavey XXX, XXL
Randall RG100

ENGL Screamer, Powerball
Mesa Stiletto Ace, Deuce
Mesa Dual Rectifier
Randall V2, T2
I'm not sure exactly what amp he had, but it was pretty nice. Anyone have any other ideas for gaining a more metal sound?