There will always be raging debates between the analogue and digital forms of things IMHO.
Tape sounds different because it IS different. It's doing something totally differently than a A/D convertor is.
Tape vs A/D
Film vs CMOS/CCD
Film vs video
traditional steering vs fly-by-wire
I think that some people in photography actually have figured it out right. Capturing something on film is an emulsion process. It's capturing light onto a physical object via a chemical/physical process. It's called a photograph or photographic negative. A digital camera does not take a photo. When a digital camera grabs it, then it is corrected termed an Image
. It captures an image via recording electronic values via a grid of sensors hooked to A/D convertors. If you look at it then way as photo vs image then (using correct terms), then you can see that it's comparing Apples to Oranges. Yea, they both get the same thing done (just as Apples and Oranges both feed you fruit!), and capture a moment in time, but they are totally different processes and not really comparable. Film looks like film. Digital looks like digital. If you like the look of film, but need the digital workflow, then scan your negatives and store them for later darkroom use. I actually have a "photography" company that's called "AFDF Imagography" since we work almost only in digital, and it's not really taking a photo (photography) if you're taking an image. So it's Imagography instead.
If you need the sound of tape, then use tape. It sounds different than digital, because it is different. Two different circuits rarely yield the exact same result, and a Rosetta 800 looks NOTHING at all inside (on or paper) like a Studer A80.
But back to your question, there are subtile differences between analogue and digtal recordings. In the end, it all gets the same thing done. I don't think one is better than the other. Digital was pretty bad at first, but so was analogue at first. Digital has came into it's own. It's a decision in the recording process just like choosing what key (C vs C#) tempo (120 vs 121
bpm), or preamp. There's the chance that the end user wouldn't know the difference, but it's still a critical choice.
The reason I write this is that i wish the analogue vs digital debate would stop. They are different. Period. Digital can emulate analogue, but it's still a fundamentally different process. Pick one, and make music.