So instead of belly-aching over how crummy flatbeds are and how old drum scanners are a pain to deal with, why don't all the engineers here tackle creating a new, modern drum scanner that's as open-sourced, off-the-shelf, and future-proofed as possible?
A lot of those old drum scanners were pre-PC, they must not be that complicated... Other than the drums, what else needs to be fabricated rather than bought? Isn't most of the value in the engineering, not the hardware? Heck I can buy $50 lasers at Home Depot.
What if 1,000 serious film photographer put down $1,000 deposits on a $2,000 price-point, Heathkit-style drum scanner? Wouldn't a million dollars of pure R&D money be more than most of the big corporations spent on their classic drum scanners back in the day?
We could get those argumentative lawyers that keep pestering the mods to set up a clean not-for-profit organization to administrate the project. Make it open source, everyone contributes... Ending up with a Volkscanner for the masses, able to handle 8x10 and modern software and interfaces (just have a network or even wifi interface)... Best $2000 ever spent - you know there are easily more than 1,000 people who would jump at this.
So why not?