I will give a specific example based on Cubase, but I'm sure the competition has similar options. In Cubase, you can detect transients in a track and map the to so-called hitpoints. You can either use this information to quantize the track, or to synchronize the tempo of the entire mix. Or you can convert the information to MIDI data, which you can then use to trigger a drum machine or drum machine plugin. Try googling for Beat Detective if you're using Pro Tools or Beat Finder if you're using Audacity. In all three cases, you have the choice of simply quantizing the original drums, provided you like the general sound and feel of the recording, completely replacing the original drums, or mixing real and synthetic drums.
I'm a drummer, so I belong firmly in the camp of first trying to get the best recording of the real drums. A good drummer adds nuances, expressions and small variations that are hard to program. Even though this might be lost on the general audience, I find it really helps the rest of the band get into the right groove. So if the engineer knows how to mike the drums properly, a little quantization of the drums might be all you need to make a killer set of drum tracks.
Another technique is to record multiple sets of drum tracks. After the main drum tracks have been recorded, have the drummer record secondary tracks on a different drum kit, or at least with a different kick, snare and hi-hat. Examples of effects on the secondary tracks are heavy compression and distortion and/or heavy EQ (lo-fi), extreme reverb/delay, flange. Some takes might work well as a constant complement to the main drums throughout the song, while other takes work well as additional fills.
If you need a more well defined or pronounced "edge" to the kick drum, try taping a quarter to the front of the beater. If the bass drum is too "boomy", try placing a small blanket on the bottom of the drum barrel inside the drum. You'll have to experiment with the placement.
Finally, if the bass overlays the kick drum (or vice versa, depending on your point of view :-), then another option is to let the bass take the low end and record and/or EQ the kick drum to merely emphasize the click-sound of the beater.