I suppose that may be true--but there's an entire industry based on continuous lights--and it's very doable. Not to mention as time goes by light sensitivity will increase and improve as well.
Doable - yes, we do it all the times. For a price. A backpack for photography, a 35t-truck for moving picture.
The old sensitivity fallacy. No, its not sensitivity that causes the costs(using Dedos for photography works ok for quite a few cases, same for L7, Seladors, KinoFlo/Creamsources), its the ambient light. No matter what you dial in on the camera, getting a decent contrast ratio takes the same effort, thus a Max18 for a nice annual income to replace a strobe set that costs about as much as a spare bulb for the Arri.
We're repeating the same mistake we did with video: believing it makes anything less expensive. Sure it the bills went down, because they cut all the people and stuff that make film look good, thus the stigma of video looking cheap. Rinse&repeat in HD.
Yeah, good continuous lights aren't cheap and they are heavier than carrying around flash equipment (though LEDs are changing the heaviness factor). If you're just talking about shooting outside in the daytime then sure... you need a boatload of light (or a little know how with big reflectors, etc.). I wasn't talking about that--I was talking about low light or controlled light environments (sorry I didn't clarify). In this situation light sensitivity does
matter. Hear me out.
You're right, it is all about contrast ratio and quality of light. If you have a camera that gets great low light performance then that means your ambient light--your base exposure--can be lower. That means for your key light/back light/etc., those lights don't need to be as powerful. That's why now (as opposed to the early days of video) instead of doing a studio set up with a bunch of 2k fresnels you can get by with a lot less, without sacrificing quality. So depending on the type of shoot, yeah you can get by without a truckload.
You shouldn't assume that I'm making "the same mistake we did with video." I wholeheartedly believe in spending time on lighting. there's no excuse for not paying attention to lighting (unless the client just can't afford it--and even then at least keep lighting in mind. Personally I'd probably do some lighting anyway...). If video looks cheap nowadays it's operator error as far as I'm concerned. With recent advances in dynamic range and shallow depth of field, etc. you can get a great image if you know what you're doing. A lot of other video people out there believe the same thing.
Going back to my original post then, like I said, I just think this new technology of RAW ultra hi-def video is something to watch out for. Weather it's good or bad (or easier or harder to get good quality), it will become more prevalent over time.