I see where quite a few commenters don't get the attraction. I witnessed a voice contact from a 10W mobile radio in Vermont, to a station in Japan, with full signal strength at around dusk a few days ago (on 28.4MHz).
The randomness of where HF propagation will take your signal and from what country an operator will respond makes voice communication interesting, and for me much more so than a cell phone call or an IRC chat session.
Amateur radio was the cause of my interest in electronics engineering in the first place and I have made a career out of it, which has been greatly enhanced by my experience in amateur radio. Indeed there are many professionals among the amateur community.
As many others have stated well here, the hobby is rich with many engineering genres and the generous frequency allocations make for a vast playground that truly does advance the "art" that underlies all those ubiquitous wired and wireless communications we take for granted. Digital, software defined radio, analog, microwave, satellite communications, power amplifiers, antenna design etc etc etc. How can anyone call this boring?