on the picaxe any output pin can be used as a serial output and any input can be used as a serial input is this not the case with arduino? My devices do not support i2c. The picaxe only has 27 bytes of variable space so any serial strings longer than that would be lost. So the scratchpad can be used as ram I guess you would call it. Basically I need the arduino to accept a data string filter that information and write it to a sd card.
The software serial on the Picaxe will run at 19k2 on any pin but not particularly reliable I think. It also has a hardware serial port which is independent of the download circuit which is usefull. The hardware serial will write directly to the scratch pad but 1024 bytes is much better than 127. As you say the C style language appears a much lower level language than BASIC so must be more powerfull. Of particular interest is updating firmware without needing the program editor.Strange that the Arduino is only really designed for one true serial port.