Hybrid workflows are essential for some of us who do not have space for a darkroom (or a good one at any rate).
Especially when it comes to color work. When it comes to slides, scanning and projecting are really the only (practical) options left, unless you find someone who has both the material and skill to make a decent ilfochrome. For me, film scanners are really great for proofing, and if I have an image that I love, I print it. But when it comes to color, I just cannot have the set up at this time to wet print RA4. So yes, if it were not for film scanners, many more people would have to use digital out of practical necessity. And even if they didn't, most mini-lab prints are scanned and made digitally anyway. So digital/scanners are still involved. I don't imagine i'm the only one in this situation, so for everyone like me who shoots color, we are slowing the decline of color materials, and contributing to film sales. By extension of this, I would conclude that scanners are in fact, helping film sales.
They're good for what they are: consumer digitisation tools. Their turntables where their first product to hit the mainstream ("geekstream"?): audiophiles cringed, but thousands of iPod-wielders actually started listening to music they only owned on vinyl. Same with the cassette deck. We all know what a pain film digitisation is. Ion's market is analogue media that would otherwise become or remain inaccessible (or at least unaccessed). It's not archival, but it's not meant to be.
Do I own any Ion products? No, and I have no desire to. I think all of us here demand archival quality from hybrid workflows. However, Ion is not courting us as customers: they're courting the people who are choosing between "throw away all of the old negatives" and "scan the old negatives before we throw them away".
IIRC the Lomography people used about 2 millon films last year.Some of the Ion gadgets not listedon that site are now 9mpx.This passes under APUG radar as they tend to hang out on flikr but it is a a significant use of new film.
Scanning kept me from going digital, and I've been doing it myself or having the lab do it for 10 years. I also now want to stop scanning and get going in the dark.
“You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt