That's good, sounds like you have a good science teacher there.
Yeah that is right, most big amps use IC op-amp chips (where op-amps themselves are made out of several transistors) or chips containing several transistors in special configurations making use of transistors as active loads i.e. cascode amplifiers. I still think transistors are very important to know some things about if you have an interest in electronics.
I've briefly edited hex edited files before, it would be interesting to learn more about.