The difference in the steps, AKA quantization noise, is minimal since smoothing is applied. But the DA conversion vs. the groove picked up magnetically is possibly the culprit, together with different compression, while noise and different EQ response are less significant factors (simply adding some vinyl noise and EQ profile to digital does not make it sound like vinyl).
Possibly, the less linear analog chain is somehow more pleasing for the ear.
Then there is the issue of stereo encoding on the single groove, which limits the source material in ways which might actually be good for listening (impossible to have big phase differences in the bass range or the record skips).
I would still not classify vinyl as better than digital, it's just different.
Hipsters should anyway concentrate on more esoteric stuff, like hi end analog tape, or analog satellite HD transmissions (still unrivalled IMHO)