I hardly ever see a youngster in the few remaining hobby shops that I frequent and even a lot of those are more craft stores than hobby stores as we older folks knew it.
I think that the put-it-together yourself kits are in decline due to many factors such as time and the need for instant gratification.
I often feel that we too are our own worst enemy sometimes by discouraging a lot of newbies from joining our ranks by being too hyper critical ,too competition oriented,too serious,too protective of their own little niches etc...(this site thankfully is an exception) People face all those things in everyday life so the last thing most of us want is import this stuff into our hobbies.
However,on the positive side I do see more and more pre-built plastic and diecasts models out there.I know,I know some of you guys think that I am verging on heresy here but we must adapt with the times.There will always be those who are fascinated with models,it's in our blood going back to ancient times.What is missing today is the early introduction to modeling in childhood.I would bet that most of us who are in the hobby today are re-discovering the pleasures of modeling developed in the past.Because this is becoming no longer a source of new recruits modeling will have to adapt to new ways of looking at things.
One of the main reason that I got into dioramas for example is that they allow me a lot of freedom to cross artificial boundaries that would normally would be frowned upon.My dioramas are multimedia ,I use anything that will get the job done.Wood ,plastic ,diecast,modified figures etc...as long as they help to tell the story.I tend to shy away from areas of too many rules and regulations,getting colors exactly right or following precise military specs. etc...Why? because I tried modeling that way and would have long since lost interest and left the hobby.
I see a great future in adapting our modeling to the computer and photography.Taking creative pictures of our models,kit built,prebuilt,diecast etc.Using the computer to put ourselves in the picture standing beside or even in the cockpit of our own models.I have seen some very creative work where it is impossible to tell if you are looking at the real deal or not.
I think that the modeling community in general is now open to new ideas.
When I first started posting my diorama stuff years ago I did get some flak from some vested interests(I post to about 25 sites on a regular basis)who wanted to keep things as they had always been ,with little cross over of ideas or subject matter between sites, but I am happy to report that this is rapidly changing.