Yes, according to DxO the high-end DSLRs approach the DR of the Phase back. I should have been more discriminating in that comparison. While dinosaurs are extinct, the new breed of digital backs is on the leading edge of 21sts century imaging technology, and as I said, offers unique properties of image quality which is worthwhile seeing or better still working with to appreciate. It's due to a combination of contributory factors. Also as I alluded to, a high-end DSLR remains a very good camera and valuable for a lot of stuff you wouldn't ideally do with an MFDB, but each has its place in the sun.
I didn't mean that MFDBs are like dinosaurs because they are extinct, but because they are big, heavy, cumbersome and slow.
I can understand in a world of expensive cars and attractive models hired at $10,000 a day to languish over such cars; in an environment where the photographer controls the elements in the scene and has the time to arrange the lighting and composition to his satisfaction, and can employ assistants to carry the heavy tripod and other equipment, there would perhaps be no reason not
to use a camera which is capable of producing the very best image quality possible, irrespective of the fact that the advantages of such exceptional image quality may often be lost in the processing for many applications such as magazine spreads.
We should not forget Michael's comparison on A3+ size prints of identical scenes taken with the Canon G10 and the P45+.
We should also not forget the psychological effect of expensive equipment, ie. the placebo effect. There have been numerous double-blind tests conducted with great scientific rigour which imply very clearly that people do actually experience greater pleasure as a result of the mere belief that the product with which they are interacting, using, sampling, tasting etc is a superior product. It's why people will often swear blind that their ridiculously expensive amplifier 'sounds' better than another good, well-designed but sensibly priced model. It actually does
sound better as a result of their believing
it sounds better.
However, place such people in a position where they are not aware which amplifier is in use, as in a double-blind test, and they can be at a complete loss as to which amplifier creates the better sound, and sometimes even get things the wrong way round, consistently confusing the cheaper amplifier with the much more expensive one.
An even more graphic example of this effect I came across recently was an experiment in which electrodes were placed of the participants' heads to measure activity in the pleasure centres of the brain during a wine tasting session. This methodology was used presumably because we know that people are often given to telling little white lies to save face and avoid giving the impression, for example, that they might be unsophisticated and not know the difference between a good quality wine and a cheap wine.
The results were surprising. Those who believed that the (in truth) cheap wine they were tasting was actually the expensive wine, because they'd been told it was expensive, experienced greater pleasure when drinking that (in reality) cheap wine than they did when drinking the 'real' expensive wine.