Ha! I have been thinking about this for a while now but feared I would sound like an EM geek. But, when I say a good mix mixes itself, I see you get the drift too! And why I see mastering becoming less and less of a thing that requires a specialty.Maybe the tracking stuff will get so good mixing will be just about volume an panning. More like electronic music.
I'm still on the fence with plugs for tracking. Personally, I think great pres and excellent mics with talented people is the whole deal. I do like an LA2A for tracking but I can live without it.
And samples, anyone that knows the magic of a great library knows what is really happening there. I'm not so bent on recreating the wheel when it can be had in a box. And if I think that, so will a millions others. Times are changing. We have so many ways to capture and create music. Some ways I don't agree are my thing, but its all there and its why the business is broke, yet growing insanely all over the map. We can do a lot of it, ITB.