Is the III really that much better than the II? I've been looking into getting a IIXL+ to replace all my real amps for noodling at home purposes (and maybe playing open Mics when that's allowed again.) Prices seem to range in the $1600-1800 range. the IIIs are closer to $2500, while Ultras (Which don't have USB?) are less than $1000. Even regular IIs can be had for fairly cheap, but there's Mark I and Mark II and whatnot, and there's seemingly so many different models and versions that I can't keep them straight.
And what's this AX8 business?
What's the best balance between affordability and functionality across the range? I'm certainly not a professional, I could hardly even be called an amateur, but I want something that's easy to work with that I can really play with sounds on (until I find the one I really like and never change it, of course.)