The questions you pose at the end are something I think about often. I would be really interested to see a deep dive of sorts exploring these questions and how the industry has changed over the last 20 years.
While it's not completely gone today, I do miss the more 90's occurrence of a filmmaker putting everything they owned on the line to tell a story. While not ideal for the filmmaker, I think that struggle can lend itself to something good. Today, studios put an immense effort on hedging risk and as a result can be over reliant on decisions by committee. While not always the case, I think the industry today neglects important aspects of the creative process and diminishes a filmmakers control over the final product.