You know what? I think people, just plain assumed film was being replaced by digital. That once they went digital there'd be no turning back. I know I did. I was fortunately a Minolta user, so there was no DSLR option, and by the time one came I had jumped into Canon.
See, I think that's really it. Everyone went digital because that's what you did. Not because you consciously thought "wow this is way better than film" but because that's just what was coming. Me, I've gone backwards, from never developing my own (since HS at least!) to doing it all, B&W and Color. I don't know if there's a camera club around here. If there is it's probably holding virtual meetings online. No sense being around actual people.