First, i am not a collector and both cameras and asking prices are in the collector area which is different than users.
Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie
Leica M's gained thier fame from three main attributes, lens quality, quiet operation and build quality. If a professional in some environments, there was and still is no better small format camera. The fact that the form factor has survived this long from M3 to M9 is a testamant to that. Along the way the Leica M became an 'ikon' that many amatures aspire to for many reasons, not all evident to many but valid just the same to the users.
I have them from M3 to M6 and two M7's. The M3 and M6 do not see much use but the M7's are heavily used with the latest Leica ASPH lenses for superb quality of image, form factor and minimal sound even with motor M's that are usually on my M7's.
I would suggest you go to a dealer and shoot some film with an M7 and whatever lens you like and evaluate or an M9! Then make an objective decision and leave the collector market to the collectors.-Dick