I'm pretty sure if I'd been limited to film only, I just wouldn't have been able to afford learning photography, or have progressed anywhere near as quickly. Each to their own of course but event coverage on film only with print provision would work out a very difficult medium for most to earn a living from these days I imagine, and with very high MP cameras or digital backs for film gear available, I struggle completely to see the argument for film at all.
I'm pretty sure if I'd been limited to film only, I just wouldn't have been able to afford learning photography, or have progressed anywhere near as quickly.
Although it wasn't all down to cost, time & effort with film, even down to going out of one's way to put films in a letter box to send away and by the time you'd got them back you'd likely not remember what you'd done anyway.
For film I still threw £thousands at the gear but got very little out of it. For digital I started with a cheap (at the time) 400D (I had a couple of crappy bridge cameras before that) and got so much out of it in terms of learning & enjoyment, far more than film would likely have ever given me. The instant feedback with digital is worth every penny IMO, and the consistency & clarity of it is (IMO) unmatched (unless you can afford the likes of MF with drum scanning).
Feedback, yes, that's the word. You try something and within a few seconds ( in camera review) or minutes in Bridge or sorting the RAW; you're reminded what strings achieved the effect you wanted, or where perhaps you went wrong. It'd be so difficult to keep those records long term using analogue gear I think.
Let's not even go into post processing, that's at least very different and more achievable for the average person, and for the skilled operated, an utterly different and potentially separate skill.
I see the argument about cheap analogue photography and don't think it hold water now with cameras available for £100 and gimp available free. Analogue cameras you might pick up for half as much and get your film at the pound shop at £1 for 24 exposures; add processing costs ( in house or by a lab) and it wouldn't take long for the books to balance.
My 'newest' old camera costs me about £23 EVERY time I press the shutter! That is adding the cost of a single sheet of 10" x 8" Portra film plus processing each one, one at a time.
I do not use it very often.
50p plus chemistry if you do black and white and use X-Ray film though. . .