Whoa, hold on a second. You just called the Tone Zone wimpy. If I knew where you lived, you would have to be flogged for that. It's probably the best metal pickup (in my opinion) that I've ever heard. I need to get one.
Actually, you may be surprised to hear this, but the Tone Zone is actually hotter than the Lundgren which you considered getting (really: the Model M, according to Meshuggah, is slightly lower output than the Blazes they previously used, which is slightly lower output than the Tone Zone, plus the TZ will sound a lot louder 'cause it's got a lot more mids).
So, here are my recommendations (if you care):
1. Do what I said in that other topic and get a pickup that has great tone (like a TZ or EVO) (you can worry about output later).
2.No matter what pickup you decide on, get the Afterburner. It's got the gain boost there if you need it (useful, but don't think it'll take you from mild to Mesh, though, because it won't-trust me), but the real attraction is that it converts the signal to low impedance, which will reduce the signal degredation caused by long/cheap cables and stompboxes. It also makes your guitar compatible with other EMG active EQ products, if that interests you.
3. If you're serious about getting the best quality distortion you can, you might look into the no load tone/volume pots, as they don't sap treble/harmonics/output like regular pots do. (You can find detailed information about these great products at www.guitarelectronics.com
) You might at least look into higher grade capacitors.
4. Get a graphic EQ (or two). A graphic EQ both before and after distortion will yield you the best control over your sound.
5. And if you want really really REALLY heavy distortion (like mine, or... I guess Mesh, or someone
), you'll need a distortion pedal. Don't get a regular, cheap one though. Make sure you get a good custom or modded pedal with good electronics that don't sap tone. (Life really IS too short for bad tone, guys).
6. And finally, if you're going to be using that much gain, you really want a noise suppressor. The Rocktron HUSH has proven itself, and I hear the Boss NS-2 works well. Oh yeah, get decent cables, too.
Hope this helps. Feel free to PM or e mail me with questions about the Lundgren or Afterburner or whatever.