I haven't read the 57 previous posts in this thread - time is short today, but I did just finish reading your most interesting muse into the future, and I find it "visionary". In my trade, one would say this article is the epitome of "forward looking statements" and of course - again in my trade - the issuer of forward looking statements disclaims responsibility for them, because there can be real consequences if readers actually made financial decisions based on them, and then they turn out to be wrong. The luxury of doing this with photography is that one can enjoy the intellectual pleasure of reading them, without risk or cost, and ask onself in a very relaxed and detached manner whether one really believes both the story-line and the details. And there is no reason for the writer of these statements to disclaim responsibility - it's a vision, period.
OK, what do I think of this vision? My bottom line impression is that things are heading in the direction you indicate, but you have over-stated the death of paper. For a number of reasons. A paper print is a tangible product which one can easily frame and display, or keep in archival boxes. Their quality keeps improving with each new paper and inkset, and they aren't that hard to conserve. We also have - we think - pretty decent predictive evidence about their durability. Also, the industry is not about to stop improving inkjet printing technology. I think it is plateau-ing, in the sense that the rate of improvement in the future may be less than it was over the past 15 years, simply because so much has been achieved. But I also think it will march onward and upward and there will continue to be countless thousands of takers for it, to justify the investments. In short, paper is less inconvenient than you make it out to be. It also hangs on walls nicely for the cost of a frame, which need not be high.
Now let us compare screens and printers. The fact is today that my Epson 3800 with Ilford Gold Fibre Silk and K3 inks has a wider colour gamut than my LaCie 321 display, and this display, while not the costliest, is still not inexpensive. We've reached the point where the DMax of the prints and the display, despite the difference between reflected and transmitted light, are not that different. Since I came off of matte paper to using IGFS, I've found the need for soft-proofing VERY diminished. So what this means, is that as a way of seeing things, good prints and screens can be about equivalent now. As the two technologies advance in the future, we'll see which develops the quality edge, hence one aspect of consumer preference.
The convenience and cost factors of course will also inform consumer preference. How many screens will we need to buy and mount on our walls if we wish to hang a bunch of pictures in different places for viewing? What cost? How long will these screens continue to perform before they need replacement? What about the longevity of file formats they will be able to read? Etc., etc. Lot's of questions about what this new technology will provide in terms of future sustainability. The digital wallets and slide shows we now enjoy are fine, but they too depend on storing vast amounts of information in formats that will continue to be accessible for as long as we and our children and our grandchildren may want to access them. I was just asked to scan and reproduce images I made 50 years ago of our childhood life. I had the negatives and was able to do the work. I hope the same will be true for my grandchildren with my digital files.
More generally, I just don't see this question as one of "either" "or". I think each technology is optimal for its own purposes and conditions, and they will continue to develop and co-exist for a very long time. Paper will outlive film for a long time to come. There is no death to anything. But your article is interesting - lots of food for thought, and points to one direction in which things are clearly moving.