Indeed. The last time the US had an air-to-air kill that was by a gun instead of a missile was in Vietnam. Guns are effectively a thing of the past in air combat. Like many articles I've read about the F-35 that paper really misses the mark. That being said, I do worry about the ability to churn out a sufficient number aircraft in a protracted conflict -- simple, rugged aircraft still have their place.
Aircraft, especially those that push the envelope like fighters, are going to wear out. Technically advanced combat aircraft costs are so heavily front-loaded due to R&D that you have to crank out large numbers of them for the unit cost to make sense, otherwise you end up with a $1B bomber instead of a plane that costs half that like the B-2. I think the F-35 will be a great fighter (most of the development issues were with the Marine variant, which is immensely more complex than the Air Force and Navy versions) but we probably would've been better served with a more conventional aircraft along with an increased number of F-22s.