Jim-I wonder how the traditionalists felt when they stopped making Platinum paper? Wasn't it Clarence White who said he would quit photography when that happened? Yet we have an extremely strong website here which is basically a traditionalists haven. We still have film and paper and it looks like it will be around for quite awhile. There are some excellant choices of materials currently available. I see many postings on photonet by newbies. These kids grew up with computers and actually like the idea of working with film. We all have a responsibilty to further the education of people using film and traditional materials. My B+N has lots of books in different titles. Actually growing up it was harder to find these books 20 years ago than today. The net certainly has changed availabilty. If you want to find something out it is at your fingertips.
Then go and do it!
Just as an aside I was gallery hopping today in NYC and impressed by some nicely done color prints printed out on a matte paper. I liked them alot as they looked well done and no photoslopping added. For me that is interesting because I am NEVER going to do color work in a darkroom but I have a ton color slides on Kodachrome that I might one day want see up on a wall.
Hey-it's just a thought.... meanwhile cheer the heck up!!!
Best, Peter