Think how many "pixels" you lose to dust on every sheet of film ...
I'd think it would be possible, after testing for dead pixels, to have a custom algorhythm attached to the sensor that would have it replace the value from the dead pixel with some average from the surrounding pixels.
I'm 29, and decided to switch back to film (LF) several years ago after being frustrated with digital. I sold off all of my digital gear, and have not looked back. I think sheet film will be around for a very long time. I for one am willing to pay more for it to ensure that it is still available.
Boy did this thread get off topic in a hurry, or did it? I assume a number of us are professional photographers by trade, and speaking for myself, I use digital photography everyday, as I'm sure most professionals do to earn our lively hood. Good photography is just good photography, no matter what tool you choose to use to get the image, whether it be digital or film! Many photographers choose to still use 35mm film and create some extremely fantastic compelling images. (Some National Geographic photographers still use 35mm film because there is no electricity in remote locations to recharge batteries for digital cameras.) Even Ansel used a Contax on occasion, and made some remarkable images with it. We choose to shoot large format for our own personal work, because we all know the quality and resolution is just spectacular, and can't be approached by other smaller formats and most digital backs (although Leaf just released their 80MP Aptus-II 12 back, which I'm sure is just wonderful), but out of reach for most of us average Joe's.
So when will sheet film become obsolete? The answer is: nobody knows! (Although Van Camper does provide some good points about the state of the industry and provides a good barometer.) The whole supply and demand thing has already been debated to death here, and elsewhere on this forum. As long as Large Format Film is still available, I personally think the question really doesn't need to be asked, and speculation will only cause you stress and anxiety.
It's available NOW, so buy it! And keep buying it, and don't worry about it.
Now the availability of coldlight head replacement lamps for our enlargers, that's something to worry about!
B&W sheet film will never be "obsolete" (I'll read that as "unavailable"). Someone will always make it as at least a boutique item.
C41 and E6 is a completely different story. I'm stockpiling.
As of 1pm today sheet film is declared obsolete. Anyone in possession of any of this stuff should send it to me immediately.