Like several others on this thread I, too, began my photographic journey using 35mm (Nikon F2AS) cameras. Given the broad array of subject matter of interest (landscapes, sports, architecture and fine art), the 35mm slr format, and the extensive system Nikon offered, suited my needs. Later, as I became more seriously interested in black and white landscape work, I began shooting (PanF) with a Hasselblad 500c/m, later building an extensive system for that purpose.
About five years ago, I had the opportunity to borrow and put through the paces a friend's M4P and several little Leica lenses. Having schlepped either a Domke journalist's bag or, on longer excursions, a backpack full of bodies and lenses around, the Leica was something of a revelation. Imagine, being able to carry a camera, film and two lenses around in my jacket pocket! A year or so later, I picked up my first Leica (an M6 with a 50mm Summicron). A few months down the road I picked up a 35mm Summilux ASPH and a (90mm Summicron). This year past, on a whim (the individual needed $$), I picked up a second M6 body (a "spare?") and, later a 50mm Summilux ASPH. While the Blad continues to see wide use (PanF plus, E100G, and E100VS are my films of choice for my landscape work), and the Nikons come out when the situation calls for longer, or more special-purpose glass, my M6, generally equipped with the Summilux, and loaded with either HP5 or Tri-x, has become my constant companion. Quiet and unobtrusive, easy and intuitive to use, I often think back over the course of some 30 years' shooting and wonder how, if this marvelous camera had been part of my "arsenal" earlier, my choice of subject matter would have changed, and how my archive would look...