I've been involved in the production of an academic journal in a format not unlike _Lenswork_, albeit without all the photographs.
Note that LW could get rid of advertising because they sell other products (_Lenswork_ Special Editions, Interviews on CD-ROM, etc.), which is probably a good model for this group. I rather like the idea of "APUG Special Editions" produced by traditional repro methods, without a digital neg. Advantage--superior repros that can be as good as the original, Disadvantage--superior repros that can be confused with the original!
It's not an impossibility, if we can count on some donated labor. Figure about $3-4/issue to print a run of 1000 before anyone gets paid for articles, proofreading, layout, editing, selling advertising, managing subscriptions (if that is done in-house), etc. There are a few printing companies that print most of the academic journals in the U.S., and it shouldn't be hard to get an estimate, if that's the format we're after. If the journal is serious and looks good, there are two major U.S. distributors that handle these kinds of things and place them in better newsstands.
It doesn't hurt to have an editor with some talent to get submissions into shape (though, alas, this is neglected at some of the photo publications that I read regularly), and connections to potential contributors who will enhance the publication's value.
Probably best to start with a schedule of 2 issues per year, and then ramp up if there is demand. It's a lot of work, and it's not likely to be financially profitable, but it still might be worth doing.