I agree about the fixed scopes being less versatile. I like the 1-4's better for my uses too, but thought that for hunting DG, especially in Alaska, the added reliabilty of a fixed scope might be a consideration. Especially when looking at the VX-1. I'd at least move up to the better quality VX-2 or VX-3 for that use. For deer or hog hunting I'd have complete faith in the VX-1. Either way, I still like the simplicity of the heavy duplex reticle.
This guy, in addition to being an Alaskan guide has written for a lot of different publications. He has high praise for the fixed, low power Leupold scopes for grizzly hunting.
I'm an admitted Leupold fan, but the better Nikons are good scopes as well. I just have no experience with their African series.