Some may think this is a bit of a mad thread starter and they are probably right, but perhaps it may produce some interesting thoughts and ideas. At the outset of photography we had the Daguerreotype and Talbotís neg/pos process, with both processes running along with their various pros and cons. As we know from history the neg/pos process eventually came to dominate for obvious reasons of replication and for over 100 years it was steadily improved and produced many off-shoot processes, camera designs, etc. If we were to imagine the neg/pos process was never discovered and only Daguerreotypes were thought the way forward, how do you think this process may have evolved and with what imaginary off-shoots over the same time span?
I'd say things would not be that much different at the fine art level. Each photographic projection print from a negative is a unique entity, they are not all the same.