Well said Mark and what a beautiful post.There's no doubt that digital photography has greatly changed the photographic industry. IMO, your question RT, has become like a new age-old question. I don't think there's really any way to accurately answer it just like there's no way to accurately predict the future. I can offer a lot of analogies and and an equal number of hypotheticals but to what end? Manufacturers dreamed of coming up with products with built-in obsolescence and their marketing firms have a field day selling products that out do each other soon after the older ones are released. Not so with analog equipment, accessories and collateral services. Even when companies like Canon and Nikon, among others, zealously pursued digital equipment research and manufacturing, they still provided some support for analog users and hedged their bets as did repair outfits including ones that started buying up huge inventories of analog parts.
I have an uncle who is a world class photographer. His manual analog camera skills are incredible. He creates spectacular images in b&w using very very old Hasselblad and Nikon Equipment, Weston or Lunasix exposure meters coupled with his accumulated knowledge. Assisting or just watching him work in the darkroom making amazing prints off of expired film, long-expired fiber based paper, is like a religious experience. One day I asked him why he never crossed the digital line. He simply told me "because I know, I understand and I love analog." He mentored me. He still does. He's 89 years old.
On another day, he asked me why I drove a 47 year-old Ford pick-up truck and a 72 Mustang convertible. I told him "because I know them, understand them love them and their respective mechanical processes.
I've been a photojournalist for 41 years. I do corporate image work and documentaries, mostly in black and white, all on film. I never crossed into the unknown realm of digital photography that so many were so quick to latch onto. I stayed pat and rather than modifying my equipment and techniques, found substantial uniqueness in marketing and promoting myself as a film shooter. I've carved my niche out shooting with film not pixels. Art directors, ad agencies, marketing directors, illustrators that I work with retain me not simply because of my photographic vision but because of how I record and present them. I still work with commercial printers and supervise press runs. I love doing what I do and I teach as well.
So to answer your questions, my advice to you and anyone here or someone who calls attention to my old Nikon F2As or Leicas or Hasselblads is that if you love something be it a process or a machine or an inanimate object like a camera or meter or the smell of darkroom chemicals, the texture of fiber based paper, then love it passionately and unconditionally and be proud to show your love, respect and admiration for those things. While you gather new knowledge of those things from others, share your own knowledge of those things you like and love with others. Stay in the moment.
Don't worry about whether or not those things you love or even just like will be around in the future. Enjoy them, love them for what they are now. Live in the moment. And don't ever be reluctant or afraid to drive old cars or trucks if you know, understand, love and respect them.
Take it light ;>)