Not a pedantic truism by any stretch. Yes I absolutely agree, the tort of copyright infringement is nowhere near the crime of theft. I'd be happy to go with an approximation of "actual damages" in respect of copyright infringement but computer access is about more than just copyright infringement.
We come back, looking at the tort alone in the aaronsw case, to the quid pro quo - JSTOR were potentially set to lose a majority of their income if their entire back catalogue was released for free. On an actual damages basis this tort is huge.
>any trespass or damages against me should be firmly anchored in the land of the real. //
Information is as real as money.
Certainly, however, information can be "held"/known by an arbitrary number of people at any single point in time, whereas money can only ever be held by a single person at a single point in time. That changes the nature of that reality. Value, and therefore damages, are simply not as concrete as is implied by the property analogy.
"On an actual damages basis this tort is huge."
That's for the courts to decide, and the public to rightly question as well.