I've been playing guitar for 3 years. I use an Ibanez 6-string and a Cort 4-string bass. I don't own an amplifier so I use my cheap Line 6 Studio UX-1 for recording guitars. It's good enough since my level of playing guitar ain't high. Yet. Learning at www.guitarmasterclass.net.
The vocals are recorded using a Rode NT1-A (thanks uncle Dan) I work in Cubase SX 5. For effects I use Waves plugins and Cubase's own stuff like compressors and EQ.
Drums are MIDI and Addictive Drums (metal kit)
I listen to all kind of music actually depending on where I am in my body, mind and soul.
If I'm at the gym I mostly listen to One minute silence (Thank God for your comeback guys), Black Label Society or my own songs actually. Other bands that I listen to: Godsmack, Whitesnake, Ozzy, Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Danzig, RATM, Pantera, Down, CoC, Joe Bonamassa, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughan (my biggest motivator to be honest) and Moody Paul a guitarist/singer who plays in Phuket, Thailand :)
To be honest I only play guitar to try impress on my girlfriend Magdalena... sadly she's more rnb/disco than heavy metal but what can you do? She still torture herself with my dirty riffs and grunty vocals and she's always honest with her feedback. That's important. Love you baby. ;)