Just curious how you all go about finding the tone you are going to use for songs and what not...

I know that I try not to copy anyone elses when I'm writing my own music... For me, when I'm doing rythym and BG stuff, I try to find something in between fuzz and clean... a good crisp sound with some growl. Typically, I just start playing something and adjust a little at a time til I find something I like.

Anyone do anything different?

peace and coconuts,

nah it's pretty much trial and error, you know, you i'll like a tone, and i'll keep it, the next day, ill be like ew this sucks, so you gotta try what you think sounds right
For overall tone, I'm pretty much settled on a really full sound. When I hit a low E or A I want it to sound like a 10 foot bulldog barking behind me, and with enough highs to just about cut glass. Listen to most anything David Gilmour does, that's the general tone I'm after for clean rhythm parts, mostly clean, very little distortion if any at all, nice full bass and plenty highs. When I stomp the volume pedal to the floor I want that bulldog behind me, I keep it set so I can feel the low notes and the highs almost hurt. Out front you should be able to hear the pick scrape the strings, harmonics should jump out, low notes should project and that was the toughest part for me with solid state amps. The lows just turned to mud at higher volumes and I couldn't use low notes in leads at all. It just wouldn't project through everything else.

You have to just tinker with it until you find the amp settings that get you the sound you're after, and remember everything in the chain affects tone, including your fingers. That's the main reason I like practicing on acoustic, if I can get it to sound really good on acoustic, I should be able to get it to sound good once I plug in. I also use the middle pickup (strat single coil) or both (2 humbuckers) more than I use the bridge pickup, mostly it's used for leads.

Start with all the tone controls halfway, straight up. Then adjust each one to bring highs, mids and lows around to where you like the sound. I play a silver face Fender Super Reverb mostly, volume cranked to 10, Bass on 5 or 6, mids on around 7, treble around 6 or 7, bright switch on. The Peavey MX is about the same, but it has a "Presence" control for really high highs, that's usually around 3/4 or so. Volume on it will be around 4 or 5 or so to match the Super Reverb volume level.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...