Does it matter?
Most people, now with digital and in the past with film, just want to capture the blowing out of the candles, Dan in his graduation cap, etc. They aren't attempting to emulate some famous photographer. They are using the consumer-grade photographic instrument currently on the market in order to capture those images. It's not because they are lazy, its because they don't need and have no desire to know.
Most people have no idea what an ALU or FPU is nor why SATA is faster than PATA, yet they confidently surf the web and even create digital content on their computer. Most people probably have no idea that their smart phones may contain 4, 2-way radios that allow them to make phone calls, surf the web, listen to music, and make secure banking transactions yet they use these devices every day without know how cell phones actually work. Most people do not know how the underlying technology works in most of the products that they use because the technology has been effectively hidden from them, made easier to use by the companies marketing the products containing those technologies. Kodak did this with film, as has been stated in this thread. ("Just click the button and we will do the rest," or something like that.)
Kodak hid the processing. Film IS more difficult, or at least more involved, than digital. It IS easier to plug the camera into a computer, download the pictures, and then view them that to develop the film and then scan or print it. To some, film may be overwhelmingly more difficult, at least from the perspective of self developing and printing. My mom never made the leap do digital, but that is because she could not use a computer to save her life. (Not saying Mac or PC, don't want to start a flame war.)
Photography is not about the tools, it is about the resulting image and the intended impact on the viewer.
I started with film in the 70's, switched to digital for a few years, and now use both as the mood and needs require. I started developing B&W last year, having used labs previously, and am fascinated with the range of effects and control (and potential for disaster!) that are possible. Developing ended up being much easier than I assumed it should be. I scan now and don't have the facilities to make my own darkroom prints. I'd like to make my own prints in a darkroom some day, but my desire to do so is the same that led me to rebuild car engines, build decks, and make beef bourginon (sp?). I'd like say I did it my self.