I am sorry I haven't been more active in this thread, but I got call out to the field for an emergency.
I understand both sides of this discussion, as I am living it. I personally don't notice a difference between the quality of an autofocus or manual focus picture. I am sure, if tests were done, one could read the results differently. I think my biggest delima (and I do wear glasses/contacts) is speed in framing a shot. Maybe its inexperience, but I seem to miss some shots with my F1. Maybe I need more practise. Although, when I can compose clearly, I love the effect and feeling of the FA1. (It truly is a mechanical dream to shoot.) So even in my own practise, there is a clear struggle!! I am doing some research into strong AF lenses, and the specifications of those lenses. One of the drawbacks I see to using the EF lenses in MF mode is the lack of focus aids. The ground glass of the F1 is so easy to focus, but does cause me to concentrate more closely. Herein lies the problem. I get focused (no pun) on focusing on the clear subject, and just as soon as I get set, I see another opportunity for a shot at a different range. I guess more hyperfocal work would be ok, but I am a big fan of DOF, and it is something I aim for in my work.
Is there some sort of focus aid that can be installed into the EOS 1 or Elan 7e that would work like the old ground glass? I guess for that matter, could the same item be installed on the 20d or the 5d? I think something like this would help.
Thanks very much for your comments, and hopefully this weekend with be a good one. No events, but I have a lot of experimenting to do.