I've had an Axe-FX for two months now and it's changed my life. I can't stop playing guitar. I've learned so much. I know my tube sounds el84s 34s kt88, 66s etc etc (I tested 34 last year in my Emery Sound Superbaby), my pickups (I tested 20 last year), my speakers (I tested 15 last year), my amps (I tested 11 last year.) It is the best thing I have ever purchased in my life in the realm of guitars. The Axe FX is wildly successful on so many different levels. Here's just four: 1) like any beautiful sounding instrument (especially one with good handling and response) you want to play for 5 hours every day...just because it sounds SOOOO good it's so inspiring. This is the Axe FX. I wake up and I can't wait to start playing...this has NEVER happened to me before in my life. This thing sounds so good and it moves like and amp and it has more note punch than any amp and the sustain singing at low volumes is wonderful. 2) Songwriting inspiration. When you write songs on a synth or sampler you have hundreds of totally different patches to chose from. Each patch leads you to play something TOTALLY different than the one before doesn't it? Same with the Axe FX. Same with patching in your phaser or going from crunch to heavy overdrive...you start playing something totally different. So you increment the patch wheel one notch and your playing through a whole new rig, in a different room, with different chains of effects. 3) The sounds are extremely accurate, usable on real albums and easy to get what's in your head. No rebiasing, no vibrations or rattles, no moving around a mic for 1/2 hour etc etc. THE AXE FX is EASY so it doesn't kill the vibe and the flow. 4) Having the AXE-FX is invaluable for learning and using because it has thousands of realistic amps simulations to compare side by side. It is NO DIFFERENT than having 40 amp heads, 40 speaker cabs and 400 effects boxes, all turned on and warmed up , with a programmed patchbay in front of you to switch these combinations at will every minute. Comparing instantly, side by side, is the best way to learn....to understand! 5) I'm a recording engineer and songwriter and only see it through those glasses...but so many people use this on stage and it opens up so many possibilities with benefits that I can't even begin to list here. Everyone seems to buy the Axe FX and rack it with a VHT 50 or 90 watt power amp. (Any of you live Axe FX closet users want to come out and tell us your stage tales?) Now, it's NOT THE SAME as a real amp cab and mic...the Axe is punchier and has a slightly different quality, but every bit as good as a cab with a 57, 421 and Royer 121...the Axe FX is the most sweet sounding exciting amp I've ever played through...it just sings. I play for 5 hours straight sometimes and never get bored. Will it cover *every possible base* perfectly when recording records...no...but it will cover a lot of ground and can certainly used be on final album tracks to be played on 100 million iPods 10,000 B&W Nautilus speakers. If it sounds good..it works...and the Axe FX works often. ...and for electric guitar songwriting, this is absolutely the way to go. How is $1500 too much for an instrument that inspires you to play 24/7 and is the equivalent of 40 amp heads, 40 speaker cabs and 400 effects boxes, all turned on and warmed up. You can try the 14 day free trial of Fractal Audio System's Axe-FX. This guy has demos: YouTube - samhillband's Channel (he's a shredder, but Axe FX does amazing full and shimmering cleans well too.) By the way, it's not the sound of the Axe FX that kills most, it's how it feels under your fingers...a musical living beast. It is the best thing I have ever purchased in my life in the realm of guitars. PS - If you worry the Axe FX might be anything at all even slightly related to software amp sims...well, you're dead wrong. The Axe FX is nothing like even the best amp sims...it has no rigidity and no sickly digital fuzz, like EVERY amp sim has. It's in another universe altogether. It's a $1500 digital rack mount box that has caused hundreds of boutique tube amp collectors to sell off their collections. (Digidesign Eleven, Amplitube,Guitar Rig 4, etc etc etc have caused zero boutique tube amp collectors to sell off their collections..cough cough.) PPS - And no, I did not do a bunch of ****** just now nor do I work for Fractal Audio.