I agree the analogy isn't perfect, after all they never are. But, I must say getting up at 4AM to get some fish isn't even close to worth it to me. It wouldn't be worth it even if fish cost three times as much as it does. Then again I don't care for fish at all...
The point was really simply that most hams don't so much do it for utilitarian reasons. Rather, it's like all hobbies in that there's fun and satisfaction to be had in accomplishing things that take learning, practice and skill.
With that said, there are still times and situations where ham radio as a communications technology has its place. In emergencies and remote areas, ham radio will work for communication when cell phones, etc. don't.
With the internet, and cell phones, and all; what is the HAM radio attraction?
People ask me this all the time. Ham radio is a big hobby with lots of areas to be explored, it's not simply about communicating. Some people are interested in building their own gear, some in preparing for emergencies, some in public service (communications for marathons, parades, etc). Some people are paper chasers, working to earn awards for contacting stations in as many different countries as possible, others like to operate in ham radio contests (like this one: http://www.cqww.com/). Some hams even bounce signals off the moon, using it as a giant reflector satellite.
When people ask me why I like ham radio when I could just call someone on my cell phone, I like to compare it to fishing or hunting or any number of other hobbies. After all I can just buy fish to eat at the store. Fishing strictly as a means to obtain fish probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but that's not why people do it. Likewise, strictly communicating with other people isn't really why people do ham radio. There's a lot to learn in ham radio, and it can be a really fun, satisfying hobby.
"If value corrupts then absolute value corrupts absolutely."