If you're playing a live show and your amp just doesn't cut it, mic'ing it through the P.A. system is the way to go, isn't it? My friend told me that its just for dispersing the sound, and your amp is the source of the volume. Is this true? or is Mic'ing it going to get the levels you need?

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well, ive never tried it, but i figured it would work to give you more volume... im pretty sure thats how big name bands do it live... i saw slipknot a couple years ago in a huge arena style place, and the amps they used werent even on the stage, they mustve been mic'ed from elsewhere. regardless, though, they were really, REALLY loud. so i think it would be volume... try it out and see what happens.
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The mic level is adjusted at the mixer to fill the front of house. As you turn up your volume on stage the level into your mic goes up and therefore your f.o.h. level goes up too.

Many bands don't even use amps, I believe Slipknot is one, they just run direct via their fx pedals or a direct box into the mixer.
When you consider how loud you will sound you have to consider several factors. This involves not only wattage but also a commonly forgotten surface area of your speakers.

The surface area causes the air movement which when spread to a larger area will give more air moving which will to some degree or another result in greater appearance of sound to those in the area.

The whole thing is rather involved and since I dont know THAT much on speaker and amplifier design I will leave it at think of what a 200 watt amp with a single 12 or 14 inch speaker sounds like and then consider that with 4 speakers.

Obviously you gain different "tone" with different amplifier, speaker and mic combinations. Then as long as your "PA" system has good quality to divide the sounds into suitable speakers for the frequency ranges applicable it should have "limited coloration" of your sound and will then step it up from say a 400 watt amp/speaker combo into the huge arena systems for example.
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umm it's for volume and dispersment. I mic my amp all the time b/c it's not loud enoguh and the 12 inch speaker doesn't disperse the sound enoguh. so both would be correct.
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