I found this article today from Facebook, it echoes most of my thoughts on modeling perfectly, so I'd thought I'd share it here. Enjoy.
The History and Future of Amp Modeling
I can see the "real vs not real" debate years ago, but now technology bridges the gap to where it's so close, almost no one could tell the difference in a blind taste test. People fear change.
I am the last generation that remembers buying and pouring through the liner notes of a newly purchased vinyl album. I watched it give way to cassettes, then CDs and digital downloads. Look at all the stores either going out of business or significantly reducing the size of their music department. Yes, I will miss the excitement of going to a music store on the day of my favorite artist's release, but it is what it is. The same is happening with book sales and stores. Record companies, book publisher and retail stores have been forced to restructure their business models to survive. There is no stopping technology progress. You cant fight it.
Now with modelers and recording software, it has put the tools in the hands of the artist. You dont have to spend tons of cash on recording studios or for lots of gear for different tones. It's all right there in your home. I have spent around $20000 on 4 albums recorded between 1998-2007. These were top notch studios where some had MILLIONS of dollars invested in equipment. Some of the home recordings I'm hearing today literally blow away my finished products. While they were good for the time, there is no denying that technology has afforded us the ability to make an album that is equal to, if not better, than what we could just 10 years ago. Not to mention, much cheaper. Like the article says, people with tons of money invested in gear will fight to the death on why their gear is superior. They need to feel there was a justification for their investment. There was a justification at the time, but technology continues to get not only better, but cheaper. Unfortunately, the investment you made is now worth significantly less and maybe even obsolete. It doesnt make your old technology a bad product. There is no doubt your gear still sounds great. Just outdated. The price for this means you have to let go of your prejudices and understand that people would rather hold on to their hard earned cash since they can now afford the tools of the trade and do everything themselves. The tools are there for you. Hell, people use to go to school for recording. Now, you can find all the lessons you need to get started on the internet.
So....are tube amps and traditional recording studios a bad thing? CERTAINLY NOT. However, there is no denying that technology is a "tradition killer." We are living in an incredible time where changes are happening at a rate where it's almost a challenge to keep up with it. Innovative spurs controversy and immense creativity. You may not like change, but it's going to happen whether you like it or not.