We are writing back digital files to film, have been doing so for a couple of years. Our purpose is for contact alt and contact silver purposes.
What we cannot do is provide a negative that can withstand enlarging. But for example with the same negative we have printed to 20 x24 optically and as well scanned and made film then contacted at the same size with equal quality of print on Ilford Warm Tone which is a glossy paper and unforgiving.
There are differences but they are not deal breakers.
Our main purpose for this silver film is archival purposes as any of the pictorio negatives we have seen 1. change in a couple of years 2. do not have the same blocking power.
and for those doing alt processes who will at some point need a service provider, who not only can produce the film but also uses it themselves for different processes .
Drew .. I am interested in dry chemicals , as indeed I plan to purchase a large quanitity of colour negative film and chemistry to match for at least 5-7 years of work, and not be bothered with price increases over that time... we have invested heavily in film cameras, scanners and output devices and would like to keep our work consistent with the gear we have. This project may require travel with a darkroom trailer much like Bill Schwab's and I want to be in a position to process as I go. May even bring the Carnie act close to your home town.
My wife and I tend to overshoot each time we go out and thinking that we would send it out to a local vendor to process is not an option financially , so scratch C41 chems sound very appealing.. I scratch mix most every thing else and I did not think C41 scratch mixing was an option until the posts in this thread point otherwise.
Basically as a lab owner , we get pricing that is very competitive for film, so a large purchase only makes sense.