I can't in good conscience vote, because I use both rather interchangeably.
I'll admit that for the past 5 years the Helix and plugins have gotten a lot more love, but that was due more to mercurial living conditions than actual preference. Now that I'm building a sound treated and largely proofed studio in my own basement, I don't see why I wouldn't use the tube amps more like I used to, when I want.
It isn't a binary and shouldn't be presented as such.
I'm 36 and started playing in 2004. I bought a small tube amp in 2005 because that's what you're supposed to do, then went from all tube to all digital modeling in ~2010, then to analog+SS for a short period to screw around with individual pedals, then back to all-in-one digital modelers for the last few years.
My tone now is so much better than it's ever been, I don't see why I would ever bother with another tube amp. I might grab something like a little Quilter combo for small jams with no PA, but otherwise I play direct to PA or studio monitors 100% of the time.
Well, I used to be target audience, untill a few months back ;-). Have been exploring digital since 2001, exclusively since 5 years (got myself a junior in the house) and bought recently a small tube amp for kicks. However: I use it with a loadbox and IR. And actually: Kemper sort of keeps up, my HX a lot less. To my surprise and disappointment. Live however: digital all the way.
I have about 20 (mostly 100W) amps (vintage Marshalls, Mesa's, Peavey 5150/XXX, Krank, Friedman, Fender Champ etc). Also have all the Neural DSP plugins, Helix, Kemper, (soon) Fractal FM3 and many other plugins.
Most of the time I play plugins, often Ill play the amps with a load box, and sometimes Ill have a blast through a cab. Maybe 55% of the time is plugins, 35% of the time with amps+load box, 10% through a cab. I get pretty equal enjoyment from them all. Playing through the cab is fun but not really something I like doing for very long unless its with a band. I'd rather have a full-fat amp if I'm using that, otherwise digital stuff is great.
I should note, I only play guitar in a studio and Im very used to hearing a guitar amp through monitors.
I basically started off with primitive amp modeling when I started playing guitar (Roland Cube 60, Zoom 606). Stuck with Line 6 PODxt-era modeling and freeware VST amp sims for many years and didn’t really care about gear.
About 5 years ago, I wanted to see what I was missing with tubes and their associated speaker types. I built some tube amps and bought few more tube amps and cabs. I got into the current generation of modeling through the HX Stomp/FM3 along the way.
Modeler, but it really truly is out of necessity. My GT-1000 works much better at low TV volume/silently than anything else I've ever used, and all my playing is relegated to these volumes with my current living situation.
I also really enjoy the no brainer, ground loop free, simple stereo functions. Panning delays and stereo chorusing was always too complicated for me to justify in the analog world, but as easy as mono in the GT.