I think the main reason for the lifeless looking digital images is poor processing skill and the missing of taste of the majority of users.
The retouching of scanned negatives is at first a very technical one (dust bust, tweaking the white point etc....), while the retouching of a digital image has to be more creative right from the start and requires vision and skill to generate an image with comparable visual qualities as a scanned film image has it.
I believe, that it is possible to get the same organic look from digital with appropriate retouching as with film. Obviously comparing same negative and sensor formats. In my experience I get really close in matching files from my M9 to the scans from a M6 (with the same lenses). The cameras handle very identical, too. So for me this is not the point. The point is the process of loading film, developing, waiting and finally seeing the results. On the other hand with digital you press the button monitor the histogram and a little later you download the images from the card. Film feels magic and has so many more qualities in the handling. You actually do something with your hands, you touch, you smell, you interact a lot more, whereas digital is just pressing the shutter and doing digital retouching (which is also a process I love, but it's different).
The result is, that my emotional connection is so much stronger to the film image than to the digital. So that's the point. It's hard to say, wether this is good for my photography or not. I don't know. So far I can't recognize an distinctive difference in my imagery.
BUT: The thing changes, when you consider some larger format cameras. For example 6x7 or 6x6. The transition to the out of focus areas is something completely different. The rendering differs so greatly from everything else. The last months I retouched countless images taken on the P30+ and P65+. (It was my job in my practical term) If at all you can compare the dof, and out of focus rendering with 645. For myself I shoot also 6x7 and I think you can't get the look with digital cameras. Period.
I have to admit, I'm torn between digital and using film as well. I miss the emotional connection to the pictures and the feeling of doing something special, when pressing the shutter.
Furtheron I think it's good to cultivate the craft and keep a diversity in the age of Canon/Nikon/PhaseOne gear, where everybody uses the same few lenses, the same sensors/sensor sizes and every picture is rendered in the same way.