Bo I like the music/photo comparison. I shoot only on digital cameras now and I think the one main thing that music and music have in the digital age is the ease of fixing mistakes and deleting big mistakes. My one main camera on a medium setting or format and a 2 gig card will let me shoot about 3000 photos. That would obviously cost a ton in film. and of course there is the instant feedback. But again it's the ease of manipulation that sells either.
I guess the bad thing about being able to cut out mistakes is that musicians won't strive for a really rock solid recording...which ends up making a final result stale.
eg. Compression is used to to keep volume levels (dynamics) at a consistent level, this then takes the "life" out of a recording. Musicians that have more focus on their dynamics wouldn't have to have so much compression and then that essence of expression stays in the reocrding.
I'm not saying I hate digital, I think it is great, how else would music (or any media format) be able to be beamed and shared across the internet.
...but I also don't think that analog is completely useless either; I don't mind if there is a bit of noise on the vinyl tracks that the radio station plays.
...often in music recording analog equipment (especially for some special audio effects) and digital equipment are both used.
I'll put in some more fuel for discussion:
The potential of digital recording is often not used well enough. Digital recording allows for a wider dynamic range (volume range between the quietest sounds and the loudest sounds) but unfortunately so much music has the life compressed out of it - this is called the loudness war. It happened in the days before digital, it is the reason why remastered CDs have such crap sound.
The existence of digital equipment makes you appreciate how painstakingly recorded a sonically innovative album like The Dark Side of The Moon was.
Imagine how much sonic innovation be used with digital.