There are a lot of solid points throughout this thread, it's a really interesting debate. In the end it does come down to two factors: budget and taste.
Personally I find that although the AKG D112 does handle the low end well it is also overused and it's characteristics become very generic. When looking at low end dynamics I like the Audio Technica ATM-250, but that's just me. Shure Beta SM52A is another classic. I stick an SM57 on a lot of things, It's an amazingly versatile microphone. For a musician on a budget i'd say blending a DI with an SM57 is the best way to go. If you can stretch the budget it's always good to get an omni condenser in the room too, but these don't generally start until around £200 with something like the SE Electronics Z3300a. AKG 414 is another amazingly versatile and great sounding mic, but then you're looking at £700+.
Other things to consider are that may recording put out these days don't even both with micing up the cab, and purely use the DI signal, opting for a nice bass preamp. If you consider that a low E on a bass is 41Hz and most cabs don't even go that low (let alone microphone) you're losing all the fundamentals of the signal even before the end users crappy earbud headphones or tiny computer speakers have had a chance to butcher the low end of the mix.
DI will keep the lows and give you the harmonic content you require, while the cab and microphone will give their own sound to the signal - so it's best to have both. Dynamics are good because the sound pressure levels coming out of a bass cab are so high that it can give negative effects if close micing with a condenser. That being said, a nice condenser in the room can boost your high mids a bit and lift the sound.
Wow, I guess three years of BSc Audio Recording Technology has paid off, in a small way...
I'd love to hear peoples views and opinions on my little rant. Please to PM me if you want to have a future discussion!
Edited by Alex Spencer, 03 March 2012 - 11:45 PM.
Fender Mark Hoppus Signature > Korg DTR-2 > Tech21 SansAmp Bass Driver > Ampeg B5-R > Warwick WCA 211 Pro