Math Campbell 1 said: " the type of mind that excels at programming rarely excels at artwork"
You're absolutely right -- hence the need (in my opinion) for tools like Axialis. I consider myself an absolute duffer on the artistic side, but I was surprised how easy it was to make some really nice looking icons with this app. Despite another reader's comments, they definitely didn't look like cobbled-together monstrosities! At the end of the day, I suspect that even a pro icon designer would build up their own library of PSD masks, etc, that he/she can draw upon as needed. In effect, this is what IconDesigner is giving you.
That said, it works for me, but I can certainly appreciate that the results achieved by a pro icon designer can't be matched by the Axialis compositing approach. Happy to further your shameless self-promotion (<grin>) by providing your web address: http://www.graphicsforge.co.uk/. And your icons look great, BTW. ;-)