I agree it is not really a DX contact unless it's worked thru the air wave from one end of the QSO to the other, in other no links or repeaters
But today with many Ham's stuck in no antenna zoning, or just no antenna resources
D-Star and even Echo link allow them to enjoy our hobby
While no D-Star or Echo link contact will ever get a QSL card from me
many still enjoy it and I do use the mode occasionally
Fact is there are so many aspects of enjoying Ham Radio we often find the local 2 meter repeaters with little or no activity, esp compared to the level of activity we saw in the 70's and 80's
All that said here is some D-Star info........