Many see the SWL hobby not as a hobby to people who "only" SWL to bring the subject closer to amateur radio. But I've heard from many that were previously SWL, they have thereby get a good introduction to the examination for radio amateur and it was significantly easier to pass the exam.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I've actually gone around the horn on this one.
I started out like many in CB, progressed to SWL and then got my ham ticket.
Did all the various modes of operation, talked to people all over the world, satellites, digital modes, etc etc...
Then I went thru the "been there, done that" phase..and to be 100% honest, I no longer have a burning desire to contest or sit at my desk listening to pileups and all 5-9 sig rpts. LOL
Don't get me wrong, I find amateur radio a great hobby, though it is nothing like it was when many were experimenting and actually contributing something useful to the advancement of radio comms.
Enter the age of the internet and cell phones. The interest in ham radio dropped like a rock.
Now; here I am some 30 years later with more of a interest in (LISTENING) than talking.
I think one learns more by listennig.