I was hoping to record some Dream Theater-like prog, but am having trouble getting the clean, sharp crunch tone that I want for the rhythm sections.

First the setup:

Les Paul Studio (mostly through the bridge pickup)
PodXT (the tabletop one, not the rackmount: kind of old now)
Yamaha O1V (a 16-channel mixer - I mostly keep it clean and balanced through this, but it has some pretty good standard effects)
Sonar 5 Producer Edition (using an optical interface -> it's pretty clean and lossless)

I'd like to end up with a versatile tone that I can use for PMed rhythm (on both lower and higher strings) and nice full backing chords.

I guess in my jamming around I had always worked mostly on skill, and only lately have I become a lot more interested in tone.

I was hoping for:

1) Does anyone know a good site for/have a good collection of Pod XT tones (perhaps specifically for direct recording)? I find the ones on line6 site are a little hit and miss and for the most part sound ok through a cab, but are not so hot for direct recording. DT tones welcome!

2) Tips on recording to Sonar.

I notice that even when I have the levels set appropriately the more distorted the recording, the more... distant it sounds. Double-tracking kinda helps.

3) Any general tips on recording?

Should I use the pod XT reverb vs mixer reverb vs sonar post-effects?

How should I use compression?

Any insight on any of these things would be totally helpful.
Make sure the output mode on your POD is set appropriately as in if you are going direct out flip the switch to line and change the output mode to studio direct. As for it sounding far and distant, I would ditch reverb all together, theres no real reason that you would need it at this time, just get the tracks as dry and in your face as possible.

As far as websites for POD Tones I never really liked a lot of the tones you can get anywhere and customtone.com seems to be the best by far. I found it really cool at first but as you start develop your own sound and tone that you're comfortable with you lose the need for anything else.

If your PODxt has a USB out, you may want to consider using that, as I can't speak for the quality of the rest of your chain.