The way DSLR have been marketed, they were positioned as a means to entirely replace 35mm in terms of handling, lenses, quality, etc. Now that the DSLR is the building block of 21st photograph, most people either switch to it, or stick to film with larger formats. I'm trying to see if there's something left to be said for 35mm besides grain.
Concerning assumptions, well yeah, they're vague. I'm working from the inside out, starting with subjectivity instead of sticking to technical data.
As I like to point out, the word "essay" comes from the French "try," which implies the possibility of failure as well. But no risk, no glory, I guess.