Reading through the responses to the "Jessop's query" thread made me start wondering as to whether the box shifting approach wasn't the only viable one today. In the "old" days, a dealer sold you a camera, and you'd keep coming back to buy film, and then to either have it processed or buy the materials to do it yourself. You'd keep coming through the door, and you might make an impulse buy, you might be shown a new piece of kit that you'd want to buy... At any rate, you kept on spending money there. I originally got into 5x4 because a dealer showed me a camera when I went in purely to buy 120 film. We started talking, the subject moved through the increased quality of 120 over 35mm, and then... But, without the need for film I wouldn't have been there in the first place. Fast forward to today. You go in and look at digital cameras, and decide what you want. You leave and find the cheapest price on the internet, or in the case of a few customers, buy at the shop. Either way, what do you go back for? Where's the repeat business from a technology that consumes only batteries? Inkjet paper and ink? Not much there, volume wise, as most digital photos aren't printed at all. And those that are? Well, more places sell paper and ink than photographic shops. Is it the case that the only sure repeat business these days is in selling a newer camera with more megapixels? Or do retailers actually take most of their money on lenses and bags? Am I just being pessimistic?