A large portion of Twain's later life and of his fortune was siphoned away by his quest for a compositing machine which would allow an author to directly edit, compose (in the printing sense), typeset, and publish his own work. Among other reasons, he was tired of his work being mangled by junior editors, etc. He commented often on this.
We have better tools, indeed surpassing his desire. I can't find a reference to it now, but Harlan Ellison expressed a wish for type that would fly, bleed, crawl, and be beside itself; this as late as the early 70's. Now we have it.
So where are the authors, other artists, other visionaries to match the previous centuries' ability, foresight, and experience to these wonderful modern tools?
Chances are, there's another Mark Twain or at least another Harlan Ellison out there. One trouble is, the kind of creativity we seek is often engendered in part by poverty or other hard circumstances. Twain would be much harder to find these days. Someone with a background equivalent to his early years will have difficulty producing, much less successfully submitting, their work; "they're not qualified".
And self-publishing? Electronic texts are the way to go, but how likely is it that the experience and (lack of) funds that contribute to keen insight will match the experience and funds needed to successfully e-publish and promote a popular work? "Unlikely" doesn't begin to describe it.
Part of the cure is simply digging, digging, digging, and blasting out those beautiful nuggets that are there somewhere, somewhere. But another part is to make the tools needed for individuals to have impact more widely available and much easier to use. Twain could grasp Open Office Writer, html, or at least ReST. I not only doubt but outright deny that he would abide them.
Some of the problem is being solved here. VL goes a long way towards making the existing tools available economically, as you've helped demonstrate, sledgehammer. On the more personal side of the solution, remember that the true creations are not necessarily accessible by web. One must make actual human contact, again and again, to find them. Mea Culpa.