What I'm wondering is, why is the argument always one or the other? Tube or modelers? I'm just waiting for the day that someone makes something the caliber of the Axe-Fx with tubes. Ever since the birth of modelers with Line-6, I've been wondering when someone was going to make a modeler that actually used tubes in the preamp. When I talked with a Line-6 employee, he said it was because they were striving to make a modeler that was good enough to not need tubes, and to avoid the inconsistency and upkeep cost of tubes. I think someone just needs to accept that, you will never be able to perfectly replicate the tone and 'feel' of an analog vacuum tube circuit... so why fight so hard against that? It's like a negatively sloped exponential curve that get's closer to 0 faster and faster, but will never reach it.
Why not instead, embrace the strength of both technologies, tube and digital modeling, and come up with something that has the best of both worlds? It just seems obvious to me, but no one with the capital to make a difference seems to think that way. If something like this ever hits the market, and the developer puts even half as much work into it as Cliff has with the Axe-Fx, I suspect it will have no trouble dominating the market (assuming it has a price point within reach of a non-professional musician, even if it's a stretch like the Axe).