Of course I wasn't able to read all pages, but judging from the first few all I have to say is:
REALLY? NO, REALLY?
I mean, seasoned pros with years of experience under their belts are afraid from Joe-the-accountant that he takes money from their mouths?!? REALLY? If someone random can walk into BestBuy, spend $1,000 in gear and take over your work, then you my friend are a really bad photographer!
With technology nothing really has changed - the only thing is that now you don't have to spend money on film, but this works both ways - pro photographers don't have to spend money on film either. Do you think anyone lowered their prices to reflect the fact that they don't need to burn through $50 worth of film to capture that one amazing picture? No!
Quality equipment is still expensive. People still need to travel and pay expenses to get to their destination. Time itself is still precious. Skills are still acquired through years of experience.
Photography has always been a very niche profession. People don't take a pro photographer on vacations with them, for example, they just stop by any gas station and pick up a disposable camera or own P&S nowadays.
And don't get me started on how much some portrait studios charge anyways. Packages starting at $1,000?!? Are you insane? I can see the value of, let's say a picture of Nigerian rebels, but $1,000 minimum for a couple hours of light work, most of it ivolving photoshop? Yeah, I said it. I have pictures from Walmart and pictures from a couple of expensive studios and I can tell you that the only difference is that the studio takes time to do more in Photoshop than Walmart's generic cut-and-paste software. That's it.
Now, at the same time, I cannot understand how some noob can devalue the work of a real photographer. No one in their right mind will buy the T2i and take of to Iraq to take pictures and then give them away for free!?! Or walk onto the football field and start snapping pictures of Farve's last touchdown pass...Or walk into any company/magazine and start taking their ad pictures for free. Or spend time and money setting up a nice beach picnic photo just to get $20 back on their $2,000+ investment...
Bottom line is that: yeah, I snapped a great picture of a bow full of cherries, but if I can do it, then it's indeed worth only $0.20, if that much. If you complain about that, it just means that the suckers that would pay $100 for a picture of a bow of cherries are gone, because, obviously, it wasn't worth $100 to begin with.
You know what I would understand? If the real photographer, the one who risked his/her life to take the picture of the rebels, complained that he got paid just as much as the bozo who spent 2 hours photoshoping a pictrue of a kid from the comfort of his air-conditioned studio. Now, that's a real argument!
P.S. And why do you think this forum has so many users, a lot of them pros, who give FREE advice to noobs with BestBuy cameras? I'll tell you why - because it makes them feel good helping people, while also knowing that there is no way in the world I can just up and bankrupt them overnight with my mad photography skills