I understand what you mean by equating amateur vs professional with bad vs. good. The reason I said for myself that I consider myself semi-pro is because while I do some hobby work, I also make SOME money from it. Getty has chosen a handful of my non-portrait work off of Flickr and I’ve licensed those through them, though I have yet to make money with that.
With the junk out there it just puts more pressure (which in this sense, a good thing) for photographers to really strive to do the best work they can so that they are remarkably better than shoot-and-burn fauxtographers.
I know a few people who got a camera as a gift and then made their facebook page- lol. When I was in college I had a crappy DSLR but it still did the job for my class. The first class I took I had to buy an old film SLR, it was good to learn the basics on and I still enjoy shooting some in film occasionally.