Sheeesh! What do they put in those Minoltas! They have a small but boarderline FANATICAL following! It may a chemical dependancy, guys!!!
Seriously though, they have an excellent rep and well deserved, and from what I understand there was a time when their lenses were the undiscovered gem of the optical world - some say THE best at the time, bar none!
The only negative comment I have is this: My father bought a low end consumer SLR body a few years back... and its a tad flimsy (then again, most omodern cameras feel that way next to a real, metal body)... But my biggest gripe was the kit lense - it is wihtout hesitation CRAP! Its a 28-75 I believe... and the sharpness at the extreme zoom ranges leaves a lot to be desired - but hey,its a kit lense. What I DO find unforgiveable is the fact that in manual mode, the lens is focused by pulling, then turning the zoom ring... and the AF motors actually move the focusing elements...there is no way to disengage this (the zoom itself works much the same) The result makes photographing rocks seem like action photography.... I couldn't keep a snail in focus...
I know that it IS a kit lense... but I just found that whole set up to be a blemish on Minolta (and yes, it is a Minolta branded lense - not off brand)
Then again, my uncle used a Maxxum 7000i for years, and its only sin was its unforgiveable ugliness (1980's.... what can you do...)