My perspective is a bit like the old Miller Lite commercials where Billy Martin was asked if he preferred "less filling" or "more taste" and he tells them "both" ... but in that case he could get both (asserted anyway) with a single beer whereas in the audio world it takes multiple different beers.
I don't believe one technology is "preferable" or "superior" to another, at least at this point in the development cycle.
I've owned LOTS of the leading digital gear and have spent literally thousands of hours tweaking them in my rooms. I've used Meridians MRC, I've got an Audyssey Pro (balanced) box, I've had two channel and multichannel Tact gear, I've got a DEQX, and I've got several Behringer units. Most of these systems I used with several "bespoke" speakers that were purpose built for an active system (Salk MTMs, Selah Accuton/Fountek line arrays, Accuton MTs in sealed cabinets, etc.) I've even gone so far as to have bespoke amps built for some of these.
I've had three different measurement and acoustic "pro's", folks who regularly post on these boards, custom tweak those setups in my rooms.
I've owned quite a few fairly high end "traditional" speakers, including the biggest Dunlavy's, the Krell Lat1's, big Genesis ribbons (350SEs), and have listened to the big Revel, Soundlab, Talon, Maxx and Hanson units (all of which I genuinely enjoyed).
So, a few assertions not supported by any measurement.
(1) The best active crossovers and room correction software can sound very nice. But, it takes a LOT of work to make them work work superbly. You can get to the 80% or 90% level pretty easily, but that last 10% is very hard, takes a lot of time, and requires expertise akin to an advanced engineering degree. It's an order of magnitude easier to get a turntable dialed in than to get these active units dialed in, and it's not easy to get a turntable dialed in!
(2) None of the commercially available units sound truly terrific until they are heavily modded. Most need their analog stages significantly upgraded, and most don't have truly "state of the audiophile art" digital stages either. The end result is that they all, to me anyway, have artifacts that sound "hard" and "tizzy" and dare I say it "overly digital" unless you choose to spend money and void the warranties. The degree of improvement from modding these units is not subtle, akin to the step up from a Sonic Frontiers tube preamp to an Audio Research Reference preamp (a transition I've experienced.)
(3) Even before modding, and certainly after, the sonic improvement of a speaker where you replace the passive with the active is usually pretty amazing: more transparency, more detail, more information, just plain more. It's like the first time you hear a great digital stack with a truly great digital recording: what it does well it does really well and you never forget what's possible after hearing it for the first time.
(4) At the same time, there's generally something "subtractive" going on with all these digital units. You get those genuine improvements at a cost. The speakers tend to be less enjoyable over extended listening, they tend to become "too revealing", and they tend to require more "volume management". In many ways, this experience is the same as what I experience in switching between digital and analog source material. On my Basis/Graham/Koetsu system I hear amazing "liquidity" with no obvious lack of information or detail. But when I play the same recording on a dCS stack I hear things I don't hear on the analog gear. But over time I miss what I'm not getting on the analog gear and then listen to that. But then I miss the dCS stack. Sigh: crossovers are the same.
In my experience I have yet to find both "less filling" and "great taste" in a single approach. The best passive speakers sound amazing in ways that, in my experience, even the best active crossovers don't yet deliver. And, the best active crossovers deliver sonic experiences that the best passive systems don't.
The debate should not, at least in my opinion, be about which is superior to the other and why. Instead, the real question is "if you choose to experiment and play with the active approach, what's required to really get the most out of the experience?"
Sorry for being so long winded. It took me over a decade to switch entirely to digital sources from analog sources, and I still occasionally miss the best analog source experiences. I expect the same long transition to occur, at least for me, with crossover and room correction technology downstream from the source.