I wondered whether Andrew's statement...
I wondered whether Andrew's statement "We need to make sure that these professional tools are for the professionals only and not for the everyday consumer" was a joke! (It was in "I see the Profession of photography slipping away"). Try this instead: "what is the merit of doing by hand something that even a computer can do?"
Nowadays, I only short Raw. One of the reasons is that it simplifies the taking of photographs, and delays the decisions I have to make until later. It reduces the number of mistakes I can make at the taking stage, and gives me maximum opportunity to reduce or correct later those mistakes I do make. It offers greater latitude & tolerance. Isn't that aspect of Raw the opposite of Andrew's preference?
Doesn't this mean that it has become too easy to make excellent photographs? No! My prints do worse than my slides in competitions. Judges take technical quality for granted with prints, and demand something more, to distinguish between those who just take photographs, and those who make photographs. Indeed, to distinguish between those who understand the difference! The quality-bar is raised each year, typically beyond the reach of those who just press buttons.
My father repaired his own cameras and made his own enlarger. I have done neither, lacking the ability. Should I be banned from the world of serious photography? Bottom-end photographs are very good compared with those of decades ago. But top-end photographs have kept pace, and real photographers are not fooled by advertisements about a ""digital masterpiece" at the touch of a button!