First off, nothing personal towards Wing Nut. I am quoting your post simply as a launching pad to post some thoughts.
Will we have to start all over again and buy the entire planet and planes or will Flight continue to evolve...
Isn't that what we have had to do with every version of FS?
While a lot of addons have been backwards compatible, not all have.
And providing backwards compatibility was probably one of the primary reasons for ACES rehashing old code for new versions instead of starting from scratch. Was that their decision or Microsoft's?
How many complaints have been posted in this forum, and others, over the years complaining about ACES retaining legacy code and not utilizing the latest technologies?
I don't think it replaces FSX,... ...
It was never intended to do that. Anyone who thinks it was simply has not been paying attention.
...if I get five years down the road and have to start again from scratch, ...
Again, isn't that what we have done in the past?
Now we have the beginnings of a new flight sim.......erm, simulated experience, or simulator, that is not tied to code based in the stone ages of personal computing.
Is it FSNext? No.
Do I wish for a new full world, AI populated, ATC controlled with accurate airspace, terrain, flight dynamics flight simulator? You bet.
Do I want it locked to the performance-limiting core of the past, released before it's fixed, followed by Service Paks, each with their own SDK? No friggin' way.
I think that an important idea to remember is, unlike MSFS in which each version was released basically complete (then patched), Flight is in it's infancy and the potential for growth is unlimited.
Back to the issue of "is Flight a simulator or a game?", it's both. It is what you (the flight simming community) want it to be and what you want to get out of it. If you want to play like a game, go ahead, have fun.
If you want to use it as a flight simulator, you can, granted to a different level of immersion than FS9 and FSX,....so far. Personally, I find it very realistic, as I am a GA nut and former resident of Hawaii.
Thanks for reading.
Don't argue with idiots, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.