1 - People still like movies, and will pay to see something that interests them, will make time for it
2 - People still buy DVDs
3 - People still go watch movies in movie theaters
4 - The Internet is still free - there are a lot of sites that you can join to build networks, fan bases - and of course you can also blog for the same ends - & blogging is still free
5 - Making movies - real indie movies - is still cheap
6 - Standard Definition shot video can look pretty good if lit well - still - in these days of HD, and can look even better than not-so-well shot HD or HDV when made into a regular DVD, played on a regular TV. Also HD or at least HDV is getting cheaper (saw a great HDV camera for $3K recently, which was and is the cost of several SD MiniDV camera models)
7 - The DIY Path still works well - it is totally possible - still - for someone with a dayjob to make a movie, promote the movie on the web & through word of mouth, set up screenings, make & sell DVDs or pretty much be a working real indie filmmaker.
8 - People are still interested in investing in indie movies.
And maybe, the most important simple fact about the present is that maybe it is not the time period that matters - but the type of person who is dealing with the realities of a given moment - some kinds of people - whether it is the Oscar Micheaux type in the 1930's or the Amir Motlagh types in the tail end of the first decade of the 2000's - find ways to get movies done - regardless of obstacles. So, perhaps what's needed at all times is the simple & overwhelming desire to get movies made & out - & perhaps all else becomes small & manageable. So get that going in your head if you seek to make & distribute indie movies right now - look at the world with a "nothing is too difficult/all things are possible" attitude.
Also, living in NYC or another big city helps :) - lots of creative & personnel options when it comes to making indie movies. Also networking, exhibition options.
So the present situation for making & distributing indie films is still pretty simple. So get working on that movie - it's a brand new year yo. I think this is still the best time period ever for real indie/DIY filmmaking & distribution.