Modelers are cheap really, I could buy 2 for what I paid for half the amps I'v owned. If you had to buy all the amp's in an AX-8 for instance you would think it was REAL cheap. When you think most people spend at least $1000 on stomp boxes they become a no brainier. I dumped all my stomp boxes and bought a new FX-8 with foot pedal & their cables for about $1200. (I like my amps) However if I were gigging every night today I would take a good look at at some type of system. Once I got what I wanted, I would set up another one the same just in case. Dragging around 2 AX-8 systems is still a far cry from even 1 half stack, just ask my back. So when you think about it, for about $1500 (AX-8) you can buy just about every amp and every stomp box out there. Pretty cheap in that regard. (I'd go rack mount, foot control, wah pedal and my 2-12"s but you get the idea.) I saw a AC/DC tribute band a few weeks back. From the back of the room something looked funny to me so I went up to investigate. The Marshall guitar speakers I was looking at were nothing more than a wood frame with a cloth draped over it to look like stack's. I could not find an amp at all so I guess they had some type of modeler system in the PA. Sounded real. The only problem with the Axe stuff is you need a small computer to set it up or adjust things. A better screen would be a huge improvement. Also they are very hard to get used to and really do "to much" stuff for most people.