>Since many landscape photographers have already moved to >digital printing from transparencies, the wet darkroom >concern is a moot point for me. Once you have a perfected >scan you can order up perfectly consistent, dust free prints >in whatever quantity you need for your sales volume.
We are talking about two different things. The wet darkroom concerns are not a moot point if you are trying to determine whether digital is technically the equal of film. The fact that commercial (professional) photographers have moved to digital prints means that they are economically superior. Businesses move for economic, not technical, reasons although the technical can influence the economic. The commercial photographer asks what is the most economical means by which I can make prints that are acceptable to my customers, and thus maximize my profits, not how can I make the best prints possible. This in no way denigrates the work of commercial photographers; this is the way all businesses are run. Commercial (professional) photographers make their living from photography.
The professional picks a price/performance point that will allow him to make money and stay in business. An example: compare Chevrolet to Rolls-Royce. If you compare the two automobiles without considering price, the Rolls is technically superior to the Chevy. However, the Chevrolet division of GM makes money, while Rolls-Royce went broke and was bought out.
Amateurs, on the other hand, participate in an activity for the sheer love of it; they make their living by other means. Amateurs can afford the luxury of striving for technical excellence.
If you are a commercial photographer, digital scanned images are the way to go.
> Digital >prints from transparencies are simply better than direct >prints to reversal paper.
To paraphrase our former president, "It all depends upon what you mean by 'better' " Scanned digital is better from the economic point; I question if it is technically better.
But that point, for the purpose of this discussion is also moot. What I questioned was the methodology of the original test. If you are testing the hypothesis that digital is the equal film, you must compare digital to film, not digital to a digital representation of film.