The title of this thread is: What Is A Photograph?
To answer literally:
Main Entry: photograph
: a picture or likeness obtained by photography
Main Entry: photography
: the art or process of producing images on a sensitized surface
(as a film) by the action of radiant energy and especially light
So, the strict definition of photography is not just the end product, but it also includes the PROCESS used to make the photograph.
That is why it's so important to include 'digital' in digital photography, it is an essential adjective to define the specific process involved in producing the final output.
As for a lot of the discussion, you really aren't discussing what is photography, merely refinements and approaches to the process of producing a film-based photograph. It is more of an ethical discussion, one which I have had myself over the years.
At some point, you will just accept what you come to accept and that will be that. That's where I am now and I don't feel any need to justify it. I don't like certain type of traditional photography work, so I just don't look at it or buy it, etc. I gravitate towards what I like and I'm mostly interested in what I do. I think that is one thing that some of the 'masters' had in common - they neither knew nor cared too much about what othere photographers were doing. Brett Weston is one example. Other more modern name photographers have felt the same way - they are just far too concerned with the path they are walking to take detours to check out other paths.
So weather one photographer uses multiple negatives to produce landscapes or whatever, they have the right to do it, it is photography by definition and if you don't like what they do, well you can just put your attention elsewhere - on your own work would be a great place to start.