yeah the popularity of digital is becos it separates the medium from the content, think of it as a novel, the book and its story. The book may may rot but the story does not change.
but of cos the separation also causes the loss of easy decoding.
as for getting a good image, premium digital can already beat most films in terms of grain and noise, and the good part of electronics is that today's premium is tomorrow's commonplace, whereas film is already a mature and stabilised technology, commercially and scientifically.
perhaps the next step to replace film is to have a low-power portable viewer like the new foldable OLEDs... so u will have ur photo album replacement. although today, u already have those image tanks with video outs.