Boy, do I have opinions on this subject.
First, I think the OP hit the nail on the head about DSLR gear is being commoditized by the manufacturers. Secondly, marketing + affordability generates sales. Add this up and you've got a LOT of new DSLR owners. And that's GREAT! Good for Canon and Nikon and the others. I like to see business do well.
What happens next? Many of the new DSLR shooters quickly arrive at a point where 'they don't know what they don't know.' It takes personal and willful desire to research gear, purchase and apply correct tools, read manuals, buy books, work through tutorials and learn post-processing techniques to produce quality results. Most new DSLR shooters will end up with expensive point and shoot cameras and will not likely progress any further than that. Again, that's fine. They're out there shooting and preserving memories for themselves and others.
My guess is that a scant 5% of new DSLR purchasers will progress beyond a body, the kit lens (or two) that came with the package, a bag to tote around said gear and be capable of creating an image better than a Canon A540 P&S can produce. Of that 5%, less than 10% of those will ever earn a dime shooting or sell a print.
Claiming to be a 'professional photographer' or being able to make a living through the business end of a camera is like saying your HS freshman student athlete will be a D1 college athlete with a full scholarship in a few years. Chances are significantly less than 1%.
Let people buy DSLR equipment. Keeps Canon and Nikon in business which again, is great, IMO. But it doesn't necessarily guarantee any DSLR owner is going to be a professional photographer.