Digital just continues the democratization of photography which Kodak began. There are 250 million photos uploaded to Facebook every day.... Vestal was right. The technological advances have lowered the bar. There are now more "professional photographers" than there were 20 years ago, but the percentage of quality ones has gone way down.

As for the "difficulty", analog isn't hard. What's changed is the commitment required. When I began (early 70's), there was a local camera shop I could go to for supplies, and answers to questions, with someone behind the counter who knew his stuff. While the internet can provide more information, it's not always the needed information. When a beginner comes here, wanting to know how to expose film, the answer should be simple. Too often the thread devolves into toe and shoulder, expansion/contraction type discussions. In reality, we should just say, "your meter will tell you what f-stop/ shutter speed to use to get a middle gray tone. Metering off a white sheet of paper (and shooting at the meters recommendation) will give you the same tone as metering off a black sheet of paper (and shooting at the meters recommendation). Both will give you a middle gray. Now, go shoot a few rolls, develop them, and ask more questions once you're comfortable with this concept."