I'm NOT quite sure what you consider an eternity (it's subjective & relative) but I can print out 40 8x10 prints within 2 hours, even at 3 hours I wouldn't consider that an eternity. And if I were in a huge rush I could utilize all 6 printers at once and get the job completed in minutes. I'm assuming you are just referring to the printing process and NOT the inclusion of the time spent manipulating each photo in Photoshop?
As far as which looks "better", that's individual taste and I wouldn't debate that point, because everybody knows what they like.
What printer are you using? You can do 40 8x10's at highest photo-quality in 2 hours?
Anyways, I just pulled 40 out of thin air. It could just as easily be 80. That would double your print time. In the darkroom, however, it will only add about 20-30 minutes to my time.
And, as I said, I've seen some good digital B&W's, but I haven't seen anything that looks as good or better than a traditional fiber-glossy print. And the ones I've seen that have come close, the individual who produced it spent A LOT more time than it takes me in the darkroom.
Again, it's not a matter of either / or, it's a matter of what your needs are and how good you need the final product to be.