Tone mapping is a very old trick - brought to its fullest expression by Ansel Adams and the other developers of the Zone System - the papers they printed on gave them 5 to at most 7 stops of DR, but they were able to use contrast control, burning, dodging and other techniques to reduce as much as 12 stops of film range to fit in 7 stops on paper (Moonrise, Hernandez New Mexico uses either 17 burns and 9 dodges or the other way around - and the only person other than Ansel himself who's ever successfully printed that negative is John Sexton (although that is an especially tricky image because Ansel forgot his light meter that day, and his guessed exposure was 3 stops off!)). We're doing the same thing today, although Photoshop doesn't smell strongly of vinegar like our old darkrooms did! While total dynamic range is far greater in camera than on the printer, printers (especially the current generation of 10-12 color printers with three grays) are capable of some fine tonal gradations within that range that cameras are only now capturing.
I agree with Geoff that inkjets and cameras are a pretty good match right now (digicams with 8x10 inkjets, 8-12 MP DSLRs with 13x19 inkjets, DSLRs with somewhere in the mid-teens of megapixels (perhaps plus the 12mp FF Nikons with their very high per-pixel quality) with 17-inch inkjets, and the super-high resolution cameras with 24 inch inkjets). The current crop of 20+ MP DSLRs (perhaps apart from the D3x - we'll see) have some image quality issues that mean that they only print 24 inches well under certain circumstances. Lower-resolution MF backs are a nice match with 24-inch inkjets as well. There's also a nice cost and commitment match between cameras and printers right now - 8x10 inch photo printers are cheap and unobtrusive, and go with cameras owned by non-photographers. 13x19 inch printers are priced and sized for the serious hobbyist, and the cameras they go with are too. 17 and 24 inch printers are a much bigger commitment of money and space, and they go with cameras that also take a commitment or a profession to own.
If cameras continue advancing much faster than printers, however, we'll see two things happen. First, more cameras will start matching 44-inch printers, and second, cameras that need 24-inch printers will become much more available than the 24-inch printers themselves. In terms of the first issue, 44-inch printers are probably always going to be a rare specialty item, both because the printer is a floorstanding machine the size and weight of a piano and takes over whatever room it is placed in, and because a 44x66 inch print cannot be matted and framed with standard materials or displayed on a normal-sized wall. I am thinking here of the art market, where many photographers' work areas are in a small room or a corner of another room, and a 44-inch printer won't fit. I also have yet to see a gallery with room to hang very many prints larger than 24x36 - the gallery I'm in right now balks even at 16x24s, which are one of my standard sizes (although I know that others take larger work, I still can't imagine most taking anything over 24x36). Even the exhibit of Ansel Adams prints that traveled to the Boston Museum of Fine Art a couple of years ago was composed primarily of 16x20 prints, and very few larger than 24x30 (the only images above that size I recall were a couple of floorstanding trifold panels). Bernard may well have a point that the prevalence of large televisions has conditioned us to large images - I'll be interested to see if galleries, museums (other than the National Museum of Natural History, which DOES display a rotating exhibition of HUGE landscape prints, but I can't recall seeing landscape photos that big anywhere else) and other display spaces adapt to this, let alone people buying and displaying images that size in their homes.
The second issue, with 24-inch printers and the cameras that match them, is related but separate. There has only ever been ONE 24-inch printer (the old, dye-based HP DesignJet 130) that I would consider anything besides a serious professional tool. The DesignJet 130 weighed 60 lbs, sat on a table (it was remarkably compact - actually narrower than many 17-inch printers and lighter than most) and cost a little over $1000. That's a machine that some serious hobbyists would buy and find room for. Any other 24-inch printer is a floorstanding machine weighing a couple hundred pounds, really made for commercial printing and costing $3000+. They are reasonable to accommodate if you're making money from the output, but they aren't really a hobbyist purchase. There are reasonable 17-inch printers for the serious hobbyist, especially the Epson 3800 (which looks like a 13-inch printer). However, we're at most a couple of years from a DSLR many hobbyists will purchase that a 17-inch printer can't do justice to.
This suggests a couple of things - first, that we're close to the end of the megapixel race being useful - somewhere in the 24-30 MP range, given superb pixel quality, the camera outresolves even a 24-inch printer. Sure, there will be a market (primarily in advertising) for more, but the need for a 44-inch printer should limit that market. Second, a modern version of the DesignJet 130 (more colors, pigment ink) would be a great companion to many high-mp cameras appearing on the market today, whose owners want to print big, but don't need the ruggedness of the big floorstanding printers made for graphic arts shops. Will someone prove me wrong and introduce a less unwieldy 44 inch printer (and a "wall stretcher" to display the output)?