Here's what's happening.
The primary consumer of a lot of photography (babies, kids, portraits, engagements/weddings, graduations) are MOMS.
A lot of pro photographers are middle aged men. There's a "creep" factor there. Accept it.
A large part of photography is the experience, and a large part of that experience is the interaction and comfort level with the photographer. A lot of moms feel more comfortable around...well...other moms.
Enter the MWAC (Mom With A Camera).
Now, a lot of you curmudgeons here make fun of MWACs and their Facebook photography pages. Guess what? Facebook is the primary means of socialization for many people nowadays, which means it's also a primary means of product and service referral. So, ignore Facebook at your own peril. A well-connected, "networked" MWAC, with an outgoing personality and a strong social media presence...who conducts herself professionally, and reliably produces decent work is going to kick the you-know-what out of all the middle-aged, guy "pros." It's already happening.
So, here's my experience with this. I'm an okay photographer. I'm definitely a hobbiest. Technically proficient, with a decent eye, but nothing to brag about. My wife is technically inferior to me in photography. She'll be the first to admit that. I'm constantly explaining camera basics to her. She's getting better, but she still struggles with some basics. DESPITE THAT, she's been pulling in more money that I would have ever expected by doing (primarily) a combination of newborn shoots, maternity shoots, and military homecomings (returns from deployment). She's got a better eye for storytelling that me, and she "story boards" these homecomings really well. She's also great with posing, and develops and easy rapport with clients. Her outgoing personality, combined with past experience in sales and recruiting, have also been helpful. She has a decent webpage, but most people who hire her either learn about her from word of mouth, or through facebook (people see her client's pics on facebook, and ask "Who was your photographer?")
What's my point? I think a lot of the reason she's been so successful (2-3 shoots per week, consistently, at $200-250 a pop) is because she's outgoing, personable, and has successfully marketed herself...primarily on Facebook. You all are right: barrier to entry has been low. It's been especially easy for her since I earn a good living, so we've been able to invest 15-20K in photography gear, which (despite what some say) definitely makes a difference and gives her an edge (there are a handful of shots...especially some low light shots...she just couldn't have captured with lesser gear).
Sorry for the rant. I do feel bad for the pros. They picked a line of work that technology has drastically changed, making high-end equipment accessible to the masses. It's a hobby that people thoroughly ENJOY, hence why many (wife included) are willing to price themselves so low. Many MWACs out there LOVE taking photos and don't need to make a dime, and the combination of those two facts are what's driving the prices down. Of course, high-end pros don't have to worry, but I think a lot of local yokel photogs are going to continue to struggle. It's very difficult to compete (price-wise) with people who don't need to make money. (My wife and I are simply using this money to buy more gear, which is AWESOME for me!)