Kaleb, I use the WA-76 for all things including tracking or within the mix. For tracking I will us it on bass and very subtly on vocals. If If use it in the mix I may commit and render the track so I can then use it on more than one, but that depends on how it's going. It is particularly good on Bass and Vocals but in reality it is good on most things. Unlike most plugins, the hardware does impart a depth/thickness to the audio. Its subtle but noticeable.
Hardware is not essential though. Its nice to have a few select items but I wouldn't fill the studio with the stuff. A hybrid approach to me is the best of both worlds. I have about 6 bits of hardware that I use when needed but in truth mostly for Tracking. I'm all for recording the best possible audio I can at the source. Likewise, I like hardware on the back end too. I have been experimenting with the Elysia Xpressor for mix buss 'glue' compression (0.5 - 1 dB tickle) and the stereo pair of Warm EQP's which are a pultec design. More for shaping the mix rather than anything surgical. They are more for tome shaping and it allows the mix to run through tubes and transformers which I like anyway.
Hope that helps. Lee