Axl and Slash are the main cats. It's like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards or Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. But on such a level that if Slash were to re-join GnR (just fictional thinking) as it is today (replacing Ashba or Ron), the general public wouldn't mind not having the original members. That's how important Slash and Axl are to GnR, especially in the eyes of the general public.
Back in the day was all about Axl and Slash, I can tell you.
General Public has no idea who Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler, Dizzy Reed, Matt Sorum, Duff McKagan, Gilby Clarke or any nuGnR member (besides Axl) is. That's why the general media doesn't give a shit about Izzy not going.
95% of people out there just care about Slash (and Axl) - anyone else is simply ignored. Who thinks otherwise is delusional...