Some thoughful philosophy here, but I'm not clear on what the point actually is. The discussion seems to want to distinguish between "taking" a photograph and "making" a photograph, as if there is more inherent value in one over the other. Well, of course, that's going to depend on what the point of the photo was in the first place. A photo is the cliche'd "frozen moment in time" regardless of how artfully it is created; whether it has visual (or artistic, or temporal or [insert favorite adjective here] ) merit moves the discussion into an entirely different realm. I'm not sure that the "dilution of effort" concept has any particular validity. Technology provides alternatives which we can all work to master, or not, to achieve our particular vision (if we have one- not having a particular vision is its own "particular vision"). Rapid fire with my myriad of 35mm cameras at a subject of interest consumes film. Because of this, serendipity plays a large role, and I'm "taking" a picture, not "making" one. Setting up the 4x5 or the 8x10 and working to "make" a picture consumes time, not film. Lots of time, something that is more valuable to me than film. This is really about an allocation of resources. The slew of rapid fire shots I've made have to be dissected looking for "merit", then usually, a selected photo needs more post processing to be the image I want it to be. Hopefully, if I have any skill at all as a photographer, the photo I've "made" with the large format will need much less work after the fact. If it doesn't, the shot reasonably can be seen as a failure.
Given that most images generally regarded as having merit have had a more or less significant degree of post processing, the nature of acquisition of the image may in fact have no real relevance to the concept of dilution of effort. In fact, given that there is no known standard benchmark for the effort required to produce a photo of merit, I would submit that there is no such thing as dilution of effort.
There is a pragmatic side to the technology of dilution - it has provided manufacturers with the cash and incentive to do the R & D that has benefitted us all in better films, darkrooms, chemistry and hardware.