Ratty,

I'm going through a similar philosophical dilemma myself, although not quite for the same reasons. I'm single, I don't have any family around me, and I live in a boring kind of place. My photographic opportunities are limited -- most of what I do is travel-related, so probably at best I shoot about 100 rolls a year, mostly black and white (80%). But...I do like colour, and even though I can get same day developing (within a couple of hours) for slide film, recently it's been coming back not so clean. Plus, most of what I really like to shoot in colour is in low light, and I'm now at the point where I've realized there are very little film options left for me for good quality high speed colour films.

So...really the best option is to get a good DSLR to handle that kind of work, but I'm reluctant to spend thousands of dollars on another camera and most likely upgraded software and hardware...just to be able to take a specific kind of photo. And since I regularly lug around 2 or 3 cameras, the idea of adding another just for colour would probably lead me to using the only digital option...which I don't want to do. I like film. I like the process. I like working in the darkroom -- it's not something I want to give up, and I'd like to do it for as long as films and papers remain viable options. I would also like to go a more hybrid route (with digital negs) -- I think that would open up possibilities, but then it's the problem of getting a printer, inks, etc. I move around a lot (3 countries in 5 years, 3 moves within one country and two in another) so it's not practical for me to have a lot of gear that people who are more settled can have.

I've never been anti-digital, just pro-film, but now that the digital option is looming as the most probably future outcome for what I want to achieve, I'm having a bit of an existential crisis about it.