I think what happens with each passing generation of type designers, is we not only lose the common vernacular but the training and years with the tools of the day. I wonder if soon enough, the young designers will have evolved so differently than we old farts did, that we will be unable to describe our way of working to each other in a truly meaningful way?
The idea became popular prior to the digital era, in the 1930s Miles Tinker's readability testing published in his book "Readability of Print." He concluded that serif type was best for continuous reading. This battle continued for decades with other conclusions like "We read best what we read most". Screen resolution had a different set of operating factors than print, as Thomas points out. My guess would be that the push back will continue between various forces with each side having a voice.
For 90% of my type faces, I start directly in type design software. This is just the way I see and my comfort with bezier curves from 30 years of using them to draw. To be clear, I have a 60 year history of drawing with pen brush, pencil, charcoal as well so I have learned to see in all media. That is not to say that this is "The Way", it just is the way that works for me. Whatever teaches you to learn to "see" is the way for you. Put the hours in with different tools. Practice seeing much more than you practice technique. If you can see form, you can learn to draw form. I would say that hours of drawing with old school means that are messy will keep you from falling in love with the clean lines of digital drawing before the form is clear to you.