I think that the art world doesnít work to normal business rules Ė if there really ever were any Ė and that itís all opinion driven and possibly fear related too.
Whatever anyone thinks of the idea of editions, they are here and probably to stay. Why would any artist, whose medium allows the choice, ever let his children die or, worse, destroy them himself just to limit the size of an edition? That negative, transparency or digital file is all that he can control once prints are out there in the wider world. That someone may copy his original print wouldnít be new; folks have been doing that for commercial reproduction for ages, and the technology is very advanced and not just a matter of somebody trying to do it at home with a camera and a micro/macro lens!
Neither do I think that the matter of newer, later PSing capabilities, better printing machines and so forth matter at all insofar as the monetary value of an Ďartí print is concerned: nobody bought a Van Gogh because they thought he had the finest paints and brushes at his disposal. Itís all character/history/notoriety driven.
Reverting for a microsecond to the matter of keeping or destroying originals: more than one photographer has actually done that: Brian Duffy was one such, and in my own relatively modest way, so did I when I left the UK to live abroad. Your life can only cope with so much baggage. With the benefit of hindsight, I should indeed have clung onto my fashion shots if only because I now have absolutely nothing in that genre left to show, and it was a very big part of my professional life Ė volume-wise, probably much more so than calendars if not as profitable. And there may even have been some commercial value to that old 60s/70s fashion material today.
In recent years, I made some original paintings with the intention of working them up as photographs into what I thought Iíd like to achieve. Once photographed, it hurt me not at all to destroy the original paintings and put fresh paints on top of where the old ones had lain. Why didnít it hurt? Because they were never meant to live as artworks in their own right. Guess itís all about intent.