On a related note, don't be so quick to write off Leica bodies for price. Some fine quality ones out there for around a grand, sometimes less. No reason you can't be happy with an M3, or an M4 (heck I won a bit of a lottery in finding my M6 for $1K but that's another story).
Good luck with your journey.
Most Leica's don't have metering, and the one's that do don't offer an Aperture priority mode. That's my problem with them.