I think when you talk about tone, a huge factor is the player him/herself. If you don’t have good technique, it won’t matter what you’re playing through - it’ll still sound like poo.
With that said, however, on to answer the OP questions.
I own several guitars. I tend to gravitate to my Fender types (Strat and Tele) than my Gibson Les Paul these days. I started on a Squier Strat and graduated up to a Les Paul after high school. I played Gibsons exclusively for a few years until maybe the mid 90’s when I found my Lone Star Strat. That’s the one that turned me back to a Fender man for life.
When I began building my own guitars, I found tone-nirvana. I’ve learned how to get the tone I want out of a guitar through it’s design (most of the time) by choosing the right materials (woods, electronics, hardware, etc).
But when it comes to tone, and you take the player himself out of the equation, I think that the pickups and the amp are the most important pieces. So with that in mind, my daily rig consists of:
Amp: Marshall JCM 2550 Diamond Jubilee Head with matching 4X12 cab
This amp has been my workhorse for more than 15 years. Bought it from a friend who didn’t really know what he had. I’ve only had one mod done to it - had the negative feedback loop taken out of it - and it sounds amazing. It’s got a built in switch that takes the output from 50 to 25 watts, which helps so I can push the tubes without serious ear damage. The amp is actually well know amongst Phoenix area recording engineers and has been rented out from me on occasion when they’re looking for THAT sound. A great amp…
I also own one of those VOX Valvetronix modeling amps that I plug into from time to time so I don’t bug the wife. Nothing really special about it other than I think it sounds better than any Line 6 I’ve tried…
Guitar: Hand built Strat or Tele OR Fender Lone Star Strat
I have a rotation of about 3 guitars that I play regularly depending on my mood. They all have one thing in common - Bare Knuckle brand pickups from England. They’re the best you can buy IMO. I don’t know what it is that makes them so great - pickup science is not a forte of mine - but they just sound better than anything else I’ve tried. Even when playing with a heavily distorted tone, you can hear every string - every note - crystal clear. They’re expensive but well worth it…
Pedals: Marshall BluesBreaker II, Cry Baby Wah, and Boss Compressor and Reverb
I’m not a big effects guy. I usually just plug in and go. I use the Marshall pedal for a mid-range boost for solos when playing with a full band (which isn’t very often these days). I use the compressor for sustain during solos or to even out my clean tone. No reverb on the amp, so I need one of those for ambience. And the Cry Baby - well, everyone needs one of those.