hi all, after shooting with slr's for a while, i became commited to rangefinder cameras- first in medium format, and now in 35mm. my main camera now is a voigtlander R3A. i have been very satisfied with this camera and the CV lenses. for many years, i have wanted to own a leica camera, but i have began to wonder recently- why? yes, some of my favorite photographers shoot with leicas, but is the great expense of these cameras worth it? i understand the reason for buying the leica lenses, they are top notch optics from all accounts. if i could afford them, i would maybe buy them, but the CV lenses get the job done for me. as a working class person who does fine art photography in his spare time, paying over $3000 for a wide-angle lens is out of the question for me. but i understand the superiority of leica optics. however, i would have difficulty in justifying buying a leica body, even if i had the money. after all, a camera body is merely a light-tight box. yes, a leica body is more well built than a voigtlander and will easily outlive it. but for the price of a M7 body, i can buy 6 CV R3A bodies! if my R3A craps out, it can be cheaply replaced. i am certainly not saying that leicas are not great cameras, i am just questioning why one should pay such exorbitant prices for a leica body when cheaper camera models will do the same job. and the leica folks think that just by placing the little "leica" logo on an item, they have justification to ridiculously overprice those items. you can get a leica camera case, a leica strap, and innumerable other little items at twice or three times the cost of similar items without the leica name. and some of leica's digital cameras are merely rebadged panasonics with a big price markup. it seems to me that, in many cases, a leica is merely a status symbol. yes, a good camera, but a status symbol nonetheless.