Actually, the advantage of an EMG is that it is dead quiet. You do get passive pickups that are as hot as EMG. Problem is, the hotter you make a passive pickup the more it tends to pick up background noise and hum. This can make your guitar sound terrible when using a lot of gain. EMG overcomes this by using a very low output pickup and an internal preamp to give you the high output without the noise.
-- My current rig
Guitar: '98 MIJ Ibanez RG520 QS w EMG 81/60
Amp: Laney LC15R Tube, Fernandes 20W SS
Pedals: MI Audio Tube Zone Overdrive, Boss OD3, CS3, MT2, HM2, DS2, CE5, DD7, TU3, Beta Aivin DD2 Delay, Dunlop Crybaby 95Q, Stranger Vol Pedal, BBE SupaCharger
Others: Yamaha RBX 374 Bass, Yamaha MM-6 Synth, M-Audio Fast Track, Shure SM-57, Heet Sound E-Bow Plus
Wanted(pm if selling): EB VPJr/Boss FV500L,Ibanez w Original/Lo-Pro Edge