Well, this ended up being kind of boring.
I agree with many of the points made and posted this sort of as a 'devil's advocate' type of discussion. Not to try and stir the pot but hopefully to generate some opposing viewpoints and a reasonable discussion. Guess many of us are pretty much on the same page.
The only thing I'd push back against a bit is Niko's idea of negatives being able to render 12 stops. That's a bit broad. Given that you linked to "The Print" I'm presuming you were referring to b&w negatives. Colour negs couldn't contain that much brightness. B&W, yeah, they could come close. The difference between film and digital, though, is that you could always 'see' the full range in the negative. With digital you can't. With film, you knew how much range you and and you knew how you had to print the neg. to contain that range and produce something useful in the print. With digital, you never actually get to see the full range that was captured. You're always looking at something that is showing less than the range captured; at least with the more current DSLRs.
Bart, I wasn't confusing linear capture with gamma encoded screen view but that is a very good point. And you're right, particularly with what we see in Lr4.x/ACR7.x with the 2012PV that does make a significant difference.