My first "real" amp was a Line6 Flextone II combo (2001), this lasted me up until I started gigging with my first band, at which point I upgraded to the Line6 Flextone II HD and a Behringer 4x12 (2005-ish). Now I've moved on to a Line6 POD X3, and it'll be good enough for me until I can afford an AxeFX.
I love the flexibility of modelling. Would I switch to "real" amps if I could afford to? Yeah, probably. But for my current purposes, I love having every tone I need at the press of a footswitch, including bass and acoustic.
I'd love to have a studio full of tube amps, cabinets, and microphones, but until I can afford that, I'll stick with modelling
It's good enough for me, and 95% of people listening to it won't know the difference (basically only the guitarists will notice or care).