There's all sorts of great information in this thread, and I want to add one more piece to it - how to sound check. This especially applies for folks who don't have their own sound man, and are using the club sound dude. I'll tell you right now that most club sound dudes are crabby sorts, and it is mostly from dealing with under-prepared musicians. You can earn their respect (and get a good sound!) by following some basic rules:

1. Know your kit. Be able to set it up AND tear it down very quickly. Racks are a big help in this department. Sound dudes spend their life dealing with lots of different drummers, and they've all had their fill of disorganized drummers who take forever to set up, or get off the stage.

2. Know mic placement for your kit. Help route mics/mic stands to the best places on your kit. Know what works/sounds good, and GENTLY suggest it. Don't be a know-it-all, because sound men have had their fill of THAT, too. Just a simple "I usually put the boom stand here and run the mic here for my snare/high hat mic" is cool. If they want to do it their own way, then let them.

3. Tune your drums. Tune your drums. Tune your drums. Don't show up to a gig with drums that have crappy overtones or bad ring. The sound man will hate you. Also, you'll sound like crap through the PA.

4. Don't sandbag when you check. Hit your drums hard, like you will when you're all amped up in the middle of a song. You know once the band starts rockin' that you're gonna hit 'em hard. If you sandbag and then start pegging all the meters when your band starts playing, the sound man has to adjust on the fly, and will hate you.

5. Once you've checked your individual drums for levels, the sound man is gonna say "play the whole kit". This doesn't mean show off like a damned fool. It means, show him how the kit sounds all together, so he can mix it.

Here's what I do. I play a simple Beat 1-3 on the kick, 2-4 on the snare and 1/8ths on the HH. Play that for maybe 2 measures. Then, using the same beat, play kick-snare-kick-tom1-kick-tom2-kick-tom3. Then switch to the ride instead of the HH and do the same thing. Maybe do a SIMPLE fill down the toms so he can compare their levels. Do it fairly slowly, so he can listen. As you play this beat, hit crashes here and there. Your sound man is listening for how the drums sound together, so keep it simple so that he can. If you're riffin' and fillin' and such, it's hard to hear the mix of the drums.

6. I know this seems obvious, but hit your drums in the middle. If the stuff you're playing is complicated to the point where you can't hit the middle, then simplify. Bad hits sound REALLY bad when amplified.

Well I hope some of this is helpful. It's based on my experiences playing lots of small clubs over a decade or so.