I have been an exclusive axe fx 2 user for three years. The unit is amazing, I'm not going to lie. But lucky for me I had an issue with it at a gig. it turned out to be something simple but it scared me enough to purchase a backup unit. Prior to purchasing the axe fx I was a line 6 pod HD500 user and I already owned the James Tyler Variax so my decision to buy the helix was easy. Even though I had never seen one. All I knew was for months it was always on back order through American musical so it must be a great unit.
HOLY SMOKES!! Line 6 knocked it out of the ballpark with the Helix. So much in fact that it is now my main stage unit. Not saying it's better than the axe fx but I am saying that the incredible layout, instant editing, and more raw, in your face tones sit better in the house mix
So for those of you asking if the helix or the axe fx 2 are better.......honestly it's like asking if a lamboragini or a Ferrari is a better car to buy but if my equipment was ever stolen or lost I would buy the helix.