The glory disappeared when we got what we thought we wanted: compilers that worked, operating systems that don't crash, source level debuggers, enough memory, enough disk, fast networking, source code control that actually works, and the ability to ssh in reliably from home.
I think that the "glory," the absence of which we bemoan in this thread, is best understood as a metaphor for the era when success in IT and its predecessor fields was mainly about being smart. If you were in what was called the data processing business in 1960, intellect was, by and large, what made you successful. That situation persisted until the mid-1980s or so (depending on where you worked), and it gradually became more important to have knowledge than intellect, and the non-technical skills (writing, teamwork, getting along with your boss, dealing with politics) became more important, too. The change was because of the drastic increases in complexity of the systems we worked with, and because the tools were so much more reliable.
In 1980, it was not an unreasonable objective to read every word of every document printed, and every line of source code, for Bell Labs UNIX. Something that could easily be done in a few months. It's not a reasonable goal, anymore, for any of the major desktop releases, and so you have to specialize, and rely on having things just work. And by and large, they do, and even people who don't specialize in technology can use computers and write Excel macros these days. They for the most part do quite well unassisted, and so the panache that came with restoring the boss's spreadsheet from a floppy disk with a bad sector isn't there anymore.
There are still good gigs out there, but they can be hard to find, and you have to make your tradeoffs among technical challenge, funding continuity, salary, management quality, coworker quality, and the extent to which the technology is strategic from a career perspective. And once in a while you still get to work around a compiler bug.