I just find the K1000 over-rated. It's hair shirted minimalism for the sake of it.
Pentax had already offered the KM, which had a self timer and DOF preview. The K1000 borrowed heavily from this model but simply didn't bother with two very useful additions.
The KX is much, much better than either. The metering is more accurate, it has MLU, and the viewfinder tells you more. I just wish I'd known they existed in the 1990s when I bought a K1000 as it was the "beginner" SLR (in a pre-Internet age all I had to go on were magazines, which didn't often publish a list of old cameras with their relative features). The KX is a tough, completely manual camera but just makes your life a little bit simpler.
I regularly see KXs (and even K2s) for the same money or less than some K1000s. Unless you're a collector then why bother with a K1000?
Most beginners weren't interested in spending the extra $$$$ and wouldn't have known better until they had some experience under their belt.
+1 for the P30. Have two and they haven't let me down yet.
As for the opinion about Ricoh, I bought my oldest daughter a "bargain" rated A-100 from KEH about 2 years ago and it has been a workhorse. Would not hesitate to get another.
If I needed a self-timer then I wouldn't use the K1000. If I needed a depth of field preview the K1000 wouldn't be my first choice. But I rarely use either of those features, so the lack of them hardly bothers me. It just means there are fewer things to go wrong.
But if you do need a very, very reliable manual camera that can use just about any of the very wonderful lenses that Pentax has manufactured over the years then the K1000 is terrific choice. I bought mine in the early 80s and have never regretted it. It has shot pictures steadily and reliably since I bought it and it has never let me down. Let me repeat that. It has "Never Let Me Down." If I had film in the camera, and my exposure settings were correct, I always came away with a picture. I have owned a number of other cameras since I bought the K1000 and I cannot make that statement about several of them, even a couple of Leicas that I spent a heck of a lot more money on.
Based on my personal experience with it this camera is hardly over-rated. To the contrary, I find that lots and lots of people are more than happy to under-rate it at every possible opportunity. I can certainly agree that the K1000 is not for everyone. There are lots and lots of very nice cameras in the world so take your pick. Some want auto exposure options. Others want a different meter readout. The lack of auto focus turns some people off. A few people want mirror lock up. But it still is a very capable, very tough, camera. Just because you don't want one, don't run it down.
Like a lot of other people, I seriously doubt that I have learned enough to outgrow my K1000 yet. And since I am a very slow learner it is likely that I never will.
After all, everyone knows, it is the perfect students camera. :D
My only complaint with my KM is that the light metering is a bit off the wall. If you set the film speed "incorrectly" it pulls the metering back into line, the K1000 seems to be the same. Meanwhile the KX and K2 are spot on. I'm not sure if this is normal - I have seen others mention a need to adjust it this way.
The K2 also has a fairly dramatic advantage in that it offers timed exposures up to eight seconds (or up to thirty seconds in auto mode). Now, fifteen seconds and longer I can happily do with my watch and a cable release, but two or four seconds is very tricky to get spot on (and more crucial that you do, as an extra half second will count for a larger percentage of the exposure than it would with a thirty second one). I've grown to enjoy taking long exposure shots at night, or of flowing water. Both of which the K2 is much better at than a K1000 thanks to its MLU, self timer, and electronic shutter.
And before lines about "not outgrowing" and their rather strange undertone that you shouldn't have more features until you've somehow earned them come in, I can quite happily shoot with an SV and Sunny 16. I just think the K1000 is bought by a lot of people who've absorbed the idea that it's the only way to learn to take decent photos, when they'll learn just as much with a P30 and have more to spend on film.
Going back to long exposures, weirdly this is something the MV/MV1 are actually quite good at. Both have the undocumented ability to give exposures up to thirty seconds or so, and providing you're sensible with aperture settings they'll produce a very pleasing image.
Lack of self timer then use an external type . . .
You want DOF, then set the aperture, unlock the lens and turn until it is almost off.
As Crosby, Stills & Nash sang, "if you can't be with the one you love love the one your with"
The K1000 is overrated in the sense that since it has become famous for being no-frills to the point where it commands more $$$ than the premium model KX (honestly, how does the addition of a self timer/DOF preview go wrong?)
Also, can't see a self timer, DOF preview, AE automation, etc "getting in the way"