Much discussion is going on whether analog processors are better than digital. Here is my opinion on the subject:
I've actually worked with expensive analog outboard signal processors like a handbuild Fairman CL1 compressor, a Maselec MEA-2 EQ and a Sontec MES 432C/6 EQ. Needless to say they all sound very good and cost a lot of buck.
But it so happens that it is not only the signal processor that matters. Also good monitors, good acoustics and most importantly good ears and experience are required to do a good mastering job. This accounts for many factors overall and tools like an analogue or digital processor is only one of them. Add to it that most analog outboard gear requires maintainance and impose degenerating AD/DA conversions, don't have automation and total recall.
I understand those who bought some of these expensive analog devices to be reluctant to accept plug-ins and surely nothing will compare to say a handbuild Fairchild compressor because of it's uniqueness. But just because it is analog, expensive or old doesn't mean it by definition will do a better mastering job.
Well developed plug-ins from respected developers sounds really good nowadays provided you know how and when to use them and that's, in my opinion, perfect for most applications provided that all the other factors are on the same high level. Nothing is stronger than the weakest link...