Vinyl is probably mainly emotional and thus psychoacoustics plays a role.
I have also experienced the sense of closeness to the music when handling those plates.
You feel as if you are so close to the bands and the recordings. You nearly can touch it!
You can approach vinyl collection as if it was your pet, you clean them, you look for scars, you put them not in direct sunlight, you even have to be very careful when putting the needle on and you have to adjust the speed variation to match, and as closer you get to the center of the vinyl, the more gentle you have to be with the speed as the needle rotates faster there, and thus always the inner tracks are often sounding very harsh on used vinyls. The first tracks on every side is what get preserved the best, as long as it is free of scratches.
I do experience a "warmer" sound when listening to good vinyls. A bit of the high end leaks out from the player.
With CD, a lot of terrible ones were to be found many years as companies transferred recordings onto the CD in bad ways, some where even from vinyl recorded onto CD, others where not adjusted to CD format etc. So, later we got all those re-issues "Remastered for CD" albums.
I also think Mastering technique and general audio knowledge might one main explanation why we might prefer Vinyl, beside the psychoacoustics and the emotional attachment to the physical handling of the records and it´s superior size for artwork. The advantage of CD was when they had thicker booklets inside where one could get a lot more info, but some vinyl LP also had that.
And what I like with Vinyl LP is also the part of having 2 sides. There is similar to a theater 1st and 2nd act. I like the feel of it.It fitted the art of making an album and you had just about 45 minutes of music to get in there. A perfect live performance setup.
CD sometimes cranked in too many songs (good for "Best of" compilations but not for ordinary albums)
What I do not like is the whoobling of records that are a bit bent or uneven, but if not too bad, I guess even that makes the records non static, so that even the straightest synth pop would get some wavy organic micro variation to its beat, just those things that makes it feel a bit more "human".
And scratches are the worst, and the degradation to (mainly) the inner tracks (which many times was good tunes) making you think they would need an extra internal De-Esser inbuilt to the Record player.
CD, MP3 and Flac etc. Yes, it has moved to a more non-linear style of listening, less focused, but more on the fly listening. And on streaming services, you get now both commercial ads and are exposed to tracks not of your choice (soundcloud, spotify, youtube etc.)
All this aside, I always thought Neil Young was more of a Lo-Fi artist. but he seems to be a Hi-Fi guy in a Lo-Fi clothings.
I really think he is a good guy and nice that he speaks his mind and opinion out even if it is not 100% scientifical proven. At least it gets us to discuss and share thoughts. As long as he is not the Pope or the President...
Those Pono things looks like an (HiFi) alternative to iPod? Never used any of those two.