I really don't have much of a clue about some of the technical aspects of this thread, but I do agree with Paul that if I was going to release something on a wide scale, something that would actually cost money, I would seriously consider getting an outside mastering engineer. The only problem is who, or where to find one, and then the obvious $?. Also, from past experiences, hiring an engineer has put me in the position of stating "I could have done much better than that jerk and I don't know what to do!"
If anyone has actually listened to any of my tracks, words of encouragement or constructive criticism would be nice.
I have to say that my overall princible is to be subtle. Not too heavy on the compression because it can kill the dynamics. Not to extravagant on EQ because I don't really have on opinion. (I work on things, change them, and then wonder why.) I love playing with reverb, but there are many places to add reverb. While playing as an effect, and then at final draft as a way of controlling the atmosphere of the piece.
I always remember a David Lynch quote (which I doubt he created): "you can always add echo, but you can never take it out."
Then there was the one on Guitar Noise forum. Someone was inquring the availability of a reverb pedal that didn't "click" when he changed the reverb during a song. The good line was the reply: "why the hell do you want to change the reverb setting in the middle of a song?"