Try one in store to see if you bond with it. I had a GT-8 to record and use headphones but I could never get it sounding authentic enough to use. Sold it for my first tattoo session I think haha.
There's a "thump" I get from big iron that i have yet to duplicate with any of the modelers I've tried, other than a Johnson Millenium JM150 many years ago. I love the 11r as an interface and direct in but the instant gratification from good amp and pedals is hard to beat for me. Milkman has had great results with modelers though, some of his youtube vids on the Vox pedals were really really good, so it can be done. It could just be the old fartiness in meTo this day I have the most satisfaction with pedals into an amp. See davetcan's post about his 11r and then plugging into his amp.
Multi effects are fun and modellers with multi fx are funner but I still get lost in the tweaking and thus end up not playing as much.