Wow I really appreciate the assistance to this! I know it seems super vague and general and I guess part of me struggles with that. It seems like something I should know by now.
I suppose amp wise I have always known the amps I could go for to get the tone I seek. Mesa Boogie has always been expensive and subsequently not an option for me. That's not so much the case now. I would really prefer to be able to get the tones I want without any unnecessary pedals. So amps, guitars/pickups and perhaps an equalizer and some sort of wah pedal. I have actually spent like the whole week really looking into amps, pedals and what have you.
MXR has a 10 band EQ, to which the Kerry King sig was based off of, so I am looking into that, it has a lot of positive reviews, a lot of people saying they will never need another EQ.
I was looking at some Krank amps, namely the Krankenstein. To my understanding Hetfield used in during Death Magnetic, and ultimately the sound pretty awesome. Blackstar also has a couple of amps that sound pretty great. The Marshall JCM 2000 also seems like a good option. The JCM 800 is a pretty sought after amp and I presume the JCM 2k is it's successor. I also compared the Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier and Mark V and I actually like the Mark V better. So that is what I am looking at right now. I am going to test out all the amps I can at Guitar Center tomorrow. I am hopefully getting the EQ pedal this weekend, as a new amp rig will require some saving but at least I can see what I like most.
My main goal is to try to nail down my own signature high gain tone as well as a very pretty chorus-y clean tone. As I think I mentioned, something in the realm of a Synyster Gates clean tone, think Buried Alive (I love the clean tone on the guitar in that) and a Hetfield high gain tone.
But really guys, I want to thank you so much for your help. It's awesome.