I think what a lot of people don't realize is that there's a difference between someone who takes pictures as a hobby, and others who do it for a living. This is the difference between a photographer and someone who enjoys photography.
When I was younger, I had no interest in taking pictures. (other than the fact that it was a device that my parents never let me touch) As I got older, digital photography was becoming more available to the general public, and it wasn't till then I realized how amazing it was to engage in photography. My reasons were basically being able to view the image instantly, sharing it with friends worldwide, and for my own memories..
With the advent of cellphone cameras, I'm all for it. Just like myself, who knows, if digital never became big, i might not have ever gained an interest in photography. I believe with any type of art, the goal is to share with others. Photography is no different. I started off with a 1.2 megapixel camera..As I became more interested, I started using better cameras, from advanced point and shoot cameras to midrange professional ones.
The one thing I will say is that I'd never call myself a photographer. I just take pictures for myself, and to share with friends occasionally, I don't do it as an occupation, I do it for my own enjoyment/memories. It's like +Alen Pasalic
said above me, it's not about the gear, it's about the skill, and the passion.