My latest thing has been playing with high-speed film and really pushing it. Mostly to shoot in public places. More "bar shooting" than "street shooting". Much in the style of Jackie Brenner, but in more reputable locales.
Thing is my old FT is heavy, awkward and a pain. Plus it doesn't lend to "hip shooting".
Looking around, there are a few small 35mm RFs out there, but many seem to be either too automated, or unable to handle the higher film speeds I need to meter and the large apertures that requires.
I'm thinking maybe Leica M (expensive) or some sort of Voightlander (the new ones). But would like some input so I can get headed down the right path here.
If your doing grain, seems like you could get away with one of the minox 35's. They are tiny, with good glass. Have a look here http://www.calumetphoto.com
I had the Voightlander Bessar on extended trial a couple of years ago when it was first released and loved it. I did some street photography workshops with it and got some great results. It sits very comfortably in the hand and you can shoot from any angle without it being noticed. It also has a comprehensive range of lens from 12mm upwards.
I carry a Ricoh GR1 almost everywhere I go and although it has limitations, a fixed zoom lens, the results are good and they are not expensive.
My favourite is still the Contax G1/G2 with a Zeiss Hologon 16 f/8
The lens is fixed at f8. So, it gives a new meaning to "f/8 and be there" :)
The Planar 45 f/2 is also a really cool lens, and with the autofocus, you never have to really look through the RF to focus (not like you really need to with the DOF of the 16mm Hologon).
Of course, one of the twin-lens Minox replicas would be cool as hell too, if you had the patience to work with the tiny negs.
Olympus XA. f2.8 quality lens and semi automated exposure that can be overriden. Only goes to ASA 800. Great little camera.
The Minox 35mm (I have the ML myself) is a nifty little camera. Good optics but you have to set the distance yourself. So no rangefinder which if you are in a hurry for the "decisive moment" could be a tad awkward.
If you can afford it, the Leica survives for a reason. Small, very quiet, fantastic range/viewfinder and takes really fast lenses. A used 50mm f1.4 can run about $600 and an M4 about $600/700. For real fun, a used 50mm f1 Noctilux or 75mm f1.4 both sell for about $1,500 used.
Try one used at a local camera dealer. Once you use the Leica, anything else will disapoint.
I second Les's suggestion. I am not a 35 mm type of guy but am thinking of buying one for less formal work. Go for the Bessar.
I noticed that you said you might be shooting in a bar. I don't know now what that would be like, but it used to be a big NO NO, as sometimes there are people there that might not want to be seen with the people they are making cozy with. Discretion should be applied here in large doses. Just be careful....
I use the Olympus 35RC. It is a rangefinder with both fully manual or automatic exposure, self timer and a small size.
One camera I used for years for just such stuff was a Minolta HiMatic 7s. Had a 50mm f1.7 lens that was tack sharp. Quick rangefinder, worked well in low light and very quite. You could do either manual or auto exposure and the lens was threaded for filters. Check it out I am sure you could pick one up real cheap.