I havent used a real amp in years for practicing. I use a line 6 ux2 with a tremendous amount of plugins and can pretty much dial in what ever tone I want. High gain low gain whatever. I also use a set of m-audio av-30 some studio headphones and drum looper and sonar for recording any tracks/songs/ideas. I still like playing with a real tube amp, but I hardly have the need to. I am not in a band, just an at home musician.
I record bass vocals and guitar all through the line 6 unit.