I apologize for the long silence, here are some infos and replies:
5 Years ago, after having been using a Switchblade Gl first and an St later, I have been considering that I could replace that with a sound card and a pc and have a lot of added interesting options available.
I started to test a few softwares that could basically allow me to manage audio signal routing, therefore I have been testing: Usine, Bidule, Audiomulch and Max/MSP.
The begin of the test showed that the idea was completely viable and with a very high potential which was going way beyond signal routing, mixing and splitting such as: Midi routing, Vst managing, use of digital connections, easy to control and easy User Interface, expandibility and others.
I have been choosing Audiomulch and I am using it as my main playing software since then.
It is simply great what you can do with it, how easy it is to set midi and manage audio routing/splitting/mixing. Plus, having a good laptop means that you can easily mix hardware processing, vsts and pedals, which is exactly what I am doing.
The hardware effects ( like my H8000FW) are connected to the soundcard via the various available options and their signal is routed in the Audiomulch world where I can manage levels, routings and anything you can think about.
The sound card is set so that it has 2 stereo analog outputs for monitoring ( one with the processed signal and one with the looped one) and other 2 couples carrying exactly the same signals but coming out from a digital connection ( adat in my case) to go to the recording audio card ( Daw). This way I have the chance to monitor and record processed signal on a different stereo channel from the looped one and to go to the Daw avoiding another D/A to A/D conversion.
I am using a Win Xp laptop, an Rme ff400, some hardware effects, some pedals, a Gordius midi footcontroller and a Novation Remote Zero.
I think it is perfectly acceptable.
So, this is how I managed to solve the headroom limits of the Switchblades and have so much more.
Please consider I think the Switchblades are excellent pieces of hardware, very well built and with a very solid sound. I think they are perfect for most of real guitar players, but I don't consider myself a guitar player so…