We are still out there. There are typically about 3-4 hardbooters are Timberline just about every weekend. There is myself and 2 other patrollers, 1 instuctor, and at least 4 regulars who are out on plates thoughout the season. I started riding alpine because I realized that I'd never be any good in the park or pipe, I've got a bad knee that doesn't react well to that kind of abuse. I can however carve a turn. With a more all mountain oriented alpine board a person can handle just about anything out there. I patrol on mine and only have issues in really tight trees and tight bumps. Even those are doable, just not fun.
RiverofBass is right about Bomber, its pretty much the center of the hardbooter universe. Locally MAC Tracks is a great event to attend. Lots of very talented riders, and good instuction. Since we as hardbooters tend to ride alone, its really fun to get to see other riders and learn from them. Everyone is welcome at the event, even softbooters.
There are a couple of reasons you don't see alpine as much, first and foremost, the gear is more unforgiving. Its tough to hop on an stiff alpine board and have a good day if you only ride 3 days a season. You can go out on soft gear and do ok. Soft gear can be easier to handle in variable conditions as well, especially for someone who doesn't ride much.
Second, there isn't a lot of money for promotion like there is with freestyle/freeride companies. No BIG names pushing the gear as the cool thing to do. Love them or hate them, Burton did the alpine community a major disservice when they dropped their alpine product line.
Third, because not every shop carries a selection of gear it can be difficult to get set up. The Bomber Classifieds are a great place to find used gear at fair prices. The Bomber store also carries a full selection of new gear. Another good place is eBay, http://www.raceboarders.com
has a link on their site for a customized alpine gear search that works well. There is a place called thestartinggate in New England that actually stocks alpine gear if you happen to be up that way.
One misconception is that alpine gear is very expensive. No doubt a bottom of the line NEW alpine setup is more costly than a bottom of the line NEW soft boot setup. Of course you get way more for the money but for the average parents buying the average kid a board they don't see the difference. When you start comparing mid to high end gear the gap closes. I feel too that you can be much more comfortable buying used alpine gear. Hardbooters tend to be a bit anal about gear maintenance and because of that even well used gear is usually in very good shape. That allows you to lower the entry price without sacrificing performance or quality.
If you are interested in Alpine, give it a try, look for people in your area on Bomber or here. Most alpine riders are good about sharing any extra gear they have to get someone new hooked.
Speaking of the monoski... http://www.donek.com
is actually making monoskis again... and some really riping alpine boards.