Whilst the internet speeds up genealogical research it lacks the buzz of discovering an original document and holding it.
From a preservation point of view digitisation ensures that old documents remain available to all for ever. Whilst many smaller archives restrict access to the originals the National Archives at Kew remains a goldmine for those that wish to have direct contact with the past.
All you have to do is register as a member and watch a document handling tutorial. Then you can access original wills, war diaries, goverment papers etc.
In my case whilst researching the history of my family surname I came across a tax record for Thoma Daffron dated 1393. Donning white gloves at the National Archives I was able to unroll the original parchment scroll, from the reign of Richard II, and see his name for myself. Fantastic!.