Yeah you can't go wrong with the Line 6 POD X3 Live, Boss or digitech pedals. If you are going to be using patches i would say us the POD + it looks awesome and has great tone to it. Down the track you could save up for the Eleven Rack or even the Boss GT-Pro rack. Anyway in the end if you get any you would still get awesome amp modeling!
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What type of music do you play? Check out Vox ToneLab, I think it's better than any POD stuff I've tried actually. But if you're playing metal POD and BOSS might be better, if you're into more clean playing, rock and fusion and such I think you should try a Vox ToneLab.
I think the POD HD offers great value for it's price range. Most people don't need an Axe-Fx II, and could get by just fine with the POD. It's improved a lot, and with the latest firmware, it's pretty good. Also, it really depends how good you are at tweaking and how much time you spend as far as making a good custom patch. The defaults are crap, so don't judge the unit on those.
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into it's secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine." - Ludwig van Beethoven