I know what you mean - here's my take. As you've noted, general hospitals typically don't hire LPN/LVNs for floor positions. However, there are exceptions - public (e.g. county) hospitals typically do hire LPN/LVNs for the floor, and almost every hospital will hire LPN/LVNs for non-floor positions (e.g. outpatient clinics, sub-acute units, hospice, etc.) In addition, there's a class of facility known as LTAC (Long Term Acute Care - Kindred being one of the better known LTAC chains) where you work with medically fragile pts in a quasi-LTC setting. And, plenty of LPN/LVN gigs in hospice - went to have a chat with my former boss at a well-known hospice organization where I volunteered, and she was practically begging me to come work for them when I get my VN license (I live in CA, BTW).
In addition, there's home health, clinics, doctor's offices, corrections, public health, pharmacies, medical billing, etc., etc. and the list goes on & on. So - there are plenty of places to look for work for LPN/LVN types; and, between AHA and a slowly improving economy I'd say there's likely to be more work for us "worker bee" types in the future.
As far as the LPN/LVN phaseout - my mom was hearing that one back in 1981, and she worked as an LVN for 15 years. According to some posts I've read on here, that little gem dates back to at least 1965 and has never been proven valid. If anything, given the economic conditions of today I wouldn't be all that surprised to see LPN/LVNs being used more extensively, simply because we'll work cheaper than RN's.
While I can't comment on the job market in your immediate area (being exactly 1 continent away I don't usually look for work that far afield) what I would do is check out Job Search | one search. all jobs. Indeed.com
and see what's out there. Just did this myself & got 85 hits for the state - so it would appear that there's work to be had.
Short version - it's worth the risk, IMO. Of course, being an SVN I'm a bit biased...