I can see why the publishers would want to phase them out. They have to pay a team of designers, illustrators, and writers to work on the manual, and then there's the cost of printing. Couple that with the fact that gaming as a whole isn't mostly for geeky boys like it used to be, it's much more mainstream and the mainstream is not reading the manuals.
"Time to fry, yeah, FRY BABY!!!" http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k261/memjr/purge.jpg