I have an aged Boss GL100 twin channel pre-amp. Strapped to the top of an equalled aged Fender Switcher Reverb, 30W. And I have a Pocket POD. All in all the distortion options on the GL100 are easy to use, with the foot swich wired through to an extra button on the Switcher foot switch I can blip from silky clean to earwax removal. And they all sound good to me.
Now, the POD, simply brilliant. I'd never use it live, too fiddly, but when away from home it's a whole world of sounds in an easily portable format. Coupled with my Hofner Shorty I'm never, er short?, of a decent set of sounds to practice/experiment with. The distrtion sounds are not as good as on the amp/pre-amp set up, but it's only me listening to them anyway!
Each has there own merits, and once you are settled with a piece of kit, stick with it.