Even compared with the early digital era, photography has become a lot cheaper today compared with as recently as two or three years ago. For a long time, I avoided buying dslr because they were costly and not that great in terms of quality.
Finally I bought in Nov 2007 because by then I felt that digital technology has improved tremendously while prices have become more reasonable. I bought a Fuji S5 Pro for about $2300 body only. I thought it was worth the money, given the quality.
Guess what? Today you can buy the Fuji S5 Pro, new, for only $1100.
And today you can get P&S cameras that cost a few hundred, yet the image quality is better than that of "high end" dlsr cameras a few years ago.
In a few years time, cost of pursuing photography as a (serious) hobby will drop even further.