It is/was also the trend of 2000. Look at the movies and tv series. (US police shows from 2000's are especially good examples). They desaturate colors at post and get a muddy brown-grey-blue look. I never liked it a second. It seems to be over now; at least I hope so. Most of these films are shot on film (and destructed in digital post) and I think it is/was a total wasting of film. Good thing though they are keeping Kodak alive.
Anyhow, this trend can be seen clearly also in how people shoot and scan&manipulate their images on Flickr etc.
Please note that many digi shooters manipulate their images in the same way. They usually look even more dull. And note that any image on Flickr will almost automatically receive enormous number of comments like "GREAT CAPTURE!!" "NICE COLORS!!" etc. It's just flickr, don't take it too seriously :D.
"HDR" (nothing to do with dynamic range) images (shot completely digitally, always!) are a complete opposite to these dull pictures. Still, they look as awful. It's just as the dullness effect; it's interesting for a few minutes. Then it loses it power.
However, great thing with film is that there are so many options. I think that the correctly exposed colorful neg look will be back soon. It has a dynamic range of "HDR", but it doesn't look like "HDR". It has realistic, natural colors without being dull. It has contrast, but not too much. It looks automatically like a bit contrast masked (but not too much), even when it's not.
Many small (and not so small) things, like the introduction of colorful Ektar 100, make a way for the renaissance of this 1990's look. Ektar may be too unrealistic for some people, but it's not dull and that's most important. It's a message. People who make their photos dull even in 2010 are just slow. They are clinging to a trend that has come to its end. Most of people start to get bored and are looking for alternatives.