A good thread - agree with all E Edwards said. There is something in the change of life that comes with the transition from analog to digital, and he has started to call that out more clearly.
There is no doubt that even for the private work, digital control is good fun - allowing more experimentation, instantaneous results, correction on the fly, and risk taking in light conditions or in composition we'd never take with film. And probably tech'l levels have been raised as well.
Last week I went back to find some shots I took in 1999 and earlier in film. It took me 5 minutes to find the contact sheet, one minute to find the film. The scan on the Epson 700 was mostly good enough, up to a reasonable size; with an Imacon available to me for larger scans. The ability to find the "source file" quickly, without hassle, has a remarkable appeal.
I don't care for the lab scene, and the quality of work has gone down as well. While reasonably convenient in the big city, its still a hassle. But as time goes on (we get older) I'm more interested in less overhead, not more. The ability to have a wonderful source file independent of the machinations of the digital industry, available for instant retireval, and for gentle thoughtful perusal (looking through 120 proof sheets is a great joy) has more appeal than ever.
The costs of improving MF quality digitally are hard to justify for the non-pro. Always tempting, always convenient. Can we do both? Now, that's confusion.