There's no surprise to any of this. When the economy tanks, DIY goes up. When the economy improves, DIY goes down. Homebrewing also got caught up in the waves of everything local plus craft beer. Lots of people were going to abandon homebrewing when they could start affording/justifying $10 six packs of beer. Plenty of people got the starter kits as Christmas gifts and brewed a couple of times only to decide they didn't like cleaning, waiting for the beer, etc. You can only sell those starter kits so many times.
There is a correction but it's a good thing. What's being lost in breadth of new brewers is being made up for in depth of knowledge, experience and technical expertise.
There may be some truth to what you say but it in no way applies to me or do I think it applies to most folks here. I never brewed beer to save money. In fact, if you factor in the time it takes to brew a 5 or 10 gallon batch you aren't saving any money at all. But regardless, I have always enjoyed brewing, from the very first batch, for the sake of the craft itself. There is just something deeply satisfying in brewing.