wfs - ASAT is right on the money. I HATED the original pod. I LOVE the XT Live. I'm primarily a Strat player, and I get my clucky in between sounds just as clearly as I did with my Matchless. When I switch to my SG for slide, it sounds like a Gibson.
I think the mistake you're making is in thinking of it as an "effects" pedal. You said "no matter what guitar i put through em a strat or a les, it all sounded like the effects". Think of it as your AMP - shut all the effects off. You can come back and add effects later - those are just little spices - the meat and potatoes is your AMP TONE...and the XT delivers in spades.