Tony plays an SG standard tuned to C# to make it easier for his fingers. I heard he uses banjo strings for that matter as well. Laney is his signiture amp but Ive seen him playing Orange and Marshal. Im sure most vintage style tube amps can replicate that sound after all he only uses a distortion pedal, delay and wah and combined with overdrive from the amp.
Yeah all that new nu metal/crash/smash/death/shred is so unimaginative. As for effects, dont you agree that it makes songs a lot more exciting when you hear short bursts or solos using 1 or 2 effects. Otherwise it just gets so boring.