I think things are still somewhat relative compared to the late 40's on. I lived in a town of half a million and there were about 10 really dedicated hot rodders. These were people that really wanted a hot rod of some kind and were willing to spend all of their income minus 10% to live on for the car. They were young and had little real life experience and skills in welding, machining and all of the other things associated with building a car essentially from scratch. They went to trade schools and read everything they could get their hands on about the various skills needed. They learned by doing along with all the failures along the way. In a town of similar size today there might be 20 or 30 people with the same mind set. These are the ones you read about at the top of various venue race results. You rarely see them hanging around drive-ins or computer game rooms. Now as in the "olden dayz", there are people that are "hard core" types that will end up at the top of the profession in various categories due to their desire to learn. The rest of them will be the "also ran's". In any hobby or sport the also ran's are essential to the survival of the hobby so it is not a bad thing. The more ambitious people need to try to get the others to upgrade is all.