Thanks for sharing your thoughts about my wonderings Roger. I understand your points. I didn't know color negative film used to be so bad. I agree that a digital slide-show is way much easier to set up and share (especially if it is just on a monitor) than traditional projection of slides. I also think that the ability of large monitor screens to display a punchy backlit image often bigger and brighter that the usual 4x6 or 8x10 print has won people over to digital viewing (and thus the commercial mass-market decline of prints altogether). My love for transparencies also come in part from the wonderful experience of viewing a transparency on the lighttable. Now if color negative film could be easily inverted (in the way they produce movie picture prints) maybe I would be all for color neg, althought I still think transparency film provides one of the more direct ways to experience and to connect physically with the light that came from the subjet.
I have to say I don't have any experience with printing RA4, but what I saw so far lets me think that the results are way above anything I've seen from a scan of color negative film. I have found that with my flatbed scanner I never get a satisfactory scan of any of my color negative, so I tried to get a roll scanned through a minilab and I actually loved the scans produced but I couldn't say that they look very natural. I will continue to explore C41 but I would be very sad without any transparency film to shoot. Oh please give 4x5 large format transparencies a try, it's just mindblowing. Having just seen online what a WWII old 4x5 Kodachrome could look like is what decided me to seek out large format cameras and to get into analog photography. I wanted to have the change to capture my parents and family members with the degree of extraordinary sense of presence and beauty they can provide.