Rambling over coffee before the Day Job.
Diverging from the "NY Times Photography Article" thread where it was suggested that digital will be a liberation of photography as art... We have already established that photography can be Fine Art (decorative, literal, traditional craftsmanship), and has been for some time.
tim atherton, Mark Sawyer, paulr and others have pointed out that photography has been accepted by the Contemporary Art trend. Now to speculate upon what liberation means.
To date it seems the trend accepted as contemporary photographic art has been large format or at least exceedingly high resolution, high technical quality imaging (digital or not), for example Gursky's and others' works. It seems necessary at this time for the contemporary art paradigm to recognize the more difficult technical challenges in order to avoid blundering into accidental works that can arise from less intentional, less expert or considered images. That would be too nonacademic, embarrassing for Art.
I speculate this will high-def trend continue for a while, then there will be exceedingly "low quality" images printed large, then some mixed media middle-ground to speak to "quality", then oscillations back and forth to include lensless photography, etc. as photography attempts, once again, to find a vocabulary or its own semiotics. As usual, in most cases, the works accepted to the more prestigious galleries will be from persons who have been working to make a name in contemporary art, persons who will be actively participating in the discourse, paying attention to the critics, curators, historians, and probably persons who have already evinced classic expertise in formats from miniature to ULF so that the transcendence of the work is clear, academically certified to be intentional.
It will be an exciting time. Perhaps "Fine Art" photography will be cast in stone, or at least rocks and roots so that Ansel Adams' work is finally put properly into the realm of photodocumentary (evincing the finest technique for the subject-genre), and other photodocumentarians' work will find a comfortable home (imagine Capa's landing images - an extreme example of necessary technique to the image, event). And a lot of what is considered photographic art today will find its categories, some discarded very quickly, all for better or worse.
So eventually there will be the (possibly intimidating) critical culture in which photography of all kinds will be under consideration. No medium will enjoy exclusivity due to it's nature, as LF has to some extent for a long time. Digital and LF and everything inbetween will enjoy parity.