Ewww... no, seriously, find a copy of the Utopia or Chaos sound font banks, the larger versions the better - They blow the crappy sound font banks that come with the Live, Audigy and X-Fi out of the water!
The default AWE-32 SFbank isn't very good quality but it is incredibly well balanced.
The Live! comes with 2, 4 and 8MB sound font banks and they ALL suck (They boosted instrument sample-rate but not quality... stupid stupid stupid!)
I am not sure what the X-Fi comes with, but it sounds like the 4 or 8 MB SF bank to me... (Sounds good for some types of MIDI, but absolutely awful on others)
But yeah, I totally agree that the software synth in Windows sucks donkey poop...
And if we're talking composers, I wanna add the three LEC guys Clint Bajakian, Michael Land and Peter McConnell. Better than John Williams!