Cool looking site - I'll have to make some time to look around there!
To get a little more on track, I think film will become an item like vinyl. That is there will be a few companies that will support a niche market. What will remain to be seen is how many kinds of film will be available. I think B&W will have the greatest number of companies involved, followed by colour print film and lastly, colour silde film.
Sounds sweet! What do you want to do with the SME arm? I had one on an AR-1 that was pretty good. That combo was replaced by an Oracle Delphi fitted with a Graham arm.
I thought I might replace the knife-edge bearings, and perhaps get the arm rewired. I would find it useful to have an arm with replaceable headshells. Nothing to match a Graham arm, however! That's a great piece of gear. I've long eyed early AR turntables as I find their design so visually attractive; I've got an original AR amp and some AR-5 and AR-6 speakers. OK, no more hifi here -- it's my other hobby/passion, which means I'm often quite torn as to which has priority money-wise between photography and stereo gear.
Why buy a CD? You can get digital downloads with the best parts of the album/songs you like and pay less, and get it instantly. However, an LP is different entirely. Not only are you getting a physical item, but it's a much more tactile item. You can't just plug it into your computer and throw it onto your iPod like any CD.
Tomalophicon - Film is almost at the place vinyl was. Consumers have switched away from the analogue formats. Selection is down, and distribution is not as widespread as it once was.
EASmithV - you are right stating that buying an album is a more tactile experience. An album, like traditional photo materials, is an investment in a physical object. Digital materials do not have the same physical presence. Listening to vinyl vs a digital source is generally a more satisfying experience, mush the same way that looking at physical photographs is more involving that looking at pictures on a screen.
Trask - doesn't the SME have interchangeable arm wands? I think an interchangeable wand is a better solution than an interchangeable headshell. The Graham uses a fixed headshell/interchangeable wand system. I'm not certain I would want to mess too much with the bearing, but Cardas makes a nice tonearm lead and there are only a few manufacturers who supply internal wiring for an arm.