I sold my older Variax and picked up the Standard model built by Yamaha last year. It's a massive improvement in quality over the older versions. It's fun to read the posts at the beginning of this thread!
I don't have a Helix (went with Kemper and Roland/BOSS instead), but I still use the Standard with my old POD HD500 or just straight into the BOSS Katana 100. The cool part about using VDI connection is that it powers the guitar and you don't have to worry about batteries. Some of the models sound quite reasonable, others not nearly as nice as VG-99 or GP-10. The controls are IMHO already at max complexity level for the average player: a model knob and selector switch for 56 models? Are you kidding me? This is why the HD500/Helix VDI connection is superior. I don't think that many options on the guitar itself are necessary. I'm a huge fan and user of alternate tunings, but I don't need 10 Alt tunings on the guitar either.
I just finished an ATG guitar (more on that in the future) built from the Antares Luthier Kit. It has two encoders, just like the Variax, for a total of about 72 possibilities. Again, I doubt anyone playing live would remember that song 11 needs encoder 1 on setting 3 and encoder 2 at position 11. Having numbered presets on the guitar doesn't do it for me. Antares' solution to the problem is using MIDI Designer on iOS to control the guitar. Royal PITA to set up and use live! Plus less reliable than the Line 6 VDI connection.
In the end I prefer to control volume, tone, and pickups with my hands and everything else (models, tuning, etc.) with my feet. MIDI foot controllers with displays and set/song capability are my favorite (like the VController on this forum)
I took the survey as well and essentially conveyed the above. Keep it simple on the guitar with less possibilities and more user customization. And absolutely add a hex output, but not using the piezo pickups. I'm concerned about losing the cool acoustic model sounds if they eliminate the piezos and go magnetic only. There's an audible difference. MIDI would be nice as well, perhaps they could team up with Fishman and install the OEM FTP.