The economy may be going to hell, but photographers have never had it better. Virtually any current DSLR will take fabulous images and will outperform most photographers. Colour management, if not exactly simple, is getting more straight forward (the Luminous Landscape video Camera To Print really helps). Inkjet prints on some of the new baryta papers are producing wonderful prints. No, they still don't look like silver prints but different isn't the same as worse - they are beautiful in their own right. Not only that, we can share our work with others via the web and it's easier to become known that at any previous time in history - despite a huge amount of competition.
Control over images has never been as good, with Photoshop and Lightroom and all. Sure backup is a pain, but no worse really than sorting your negatives and being consistent about your contact sheets and negative filing system.
Now, if we could just figure out where to point the camera.