There's too much choice in music and this is A Bad Thing, especially for guitarists. Too many types of amp, too many guitar manufacturers, too many choices of effects pedals, too many controls on amps, too many useless fucking gadgets that you just don't fucking need.
"But Frank", I hear you cry, "surely choice is a good thing?"
Well no it's fucking not and here's why.
1. Gadgets are the enemy of individuality.
Here's the truth about modern guitarists - they all sound the fucking same because they have learnt to play through high-gain amps. If I hear a Clapton guitar part or a Richard Thompson line or a Jeff Beck riff then I recognise the player instantly, as surely as I recognise the sound of Frank Sinatra's voice. Why? Because the tone comes from their fingers. Because they learned to play on shitty equipment and the only way to make it sound "nice" was to work like fuck on vibrato and phrasing and tone. If you learn to play on "good" amps with over the fucking top wig-out distortion then your playing will just blend in with every other Ibanez idiot who ever plugged into a Tube Screamer.
Solution: Learn to play with a CLEAN amp setting. Learn vibrato. Play the shittiest guitar through a terrible amp and make it sound as good as you can. Because when a player can make a crappy guitar sound good, that player will sound incredible on good equipment.
2. Gadgets are used to disguise bad musicianship.
Oh man, I can't think of a song, I'll just turn the distortion up full and wank myself off through a phaser.
Purr-lease. Stop being so fucking shit.
All you really need is a Fender Twin and a Telecaster. Effects are a nice icing on the cake - but if your cake is made of 90% dogshit then it's never going to taste good.