Just my few pennyworth from my own experience, also mirroring many of the comments already made

I know you've discounted the Rollei 35, but they (the original style versions) should be 'future-proof'; solid, operable entirely mechanically, it's your choice whether you use the internal match-needle exposure meter, an external meter, or sunny-whatever. No built-in rangefinder, but the depth-of-field should be enough for estimation unles you're into macro work. I reckon I would get used to the fiddly-ness of mine if I used it a lot, but I'm more into MF these days .

Interested to learn about the Petri Color 35 - looks nice!

I like the XA series (although the XA1 to me is like a worthy, re-usable, disposable camera if you see what I mean). For me it was a trade-off between my fumbling fingers knocking the focus lever when opening the XA clamshell, and remembering to alter if necessary the default zone focus setting of the XA2 or XA4 after opening. As has been mentioned earlier in the thread, the backlight compensation gives you some manual control. I ended up with the XA4 as I like a 28mm lens - I like to do townscape/landscape - and the depth of field is accommodating anyway.

+1 to Minox electrical problems-never again!

I once had an Olympus 35RC; it's of an older generation, noticeably bigger than the above, and still has 'electrics'.

[ Representing the 'cheapo' fixed focus, 1 aperture and 1 shutter speed class, I have a Vivitar PN2011; totally mechanical, 28mm lens not having the performance of the Olympus Zuiko. I also have an Olympus Trip 505 with 28mm glass triplet and built-in flash; the motorised film drive is noisy.]

In summary, the original poster is enquiring about the sort of 35mm camera that would also appeal most to me; unfortunately, by the time they became that small, the manufacturers mostly only offered automation of one sort or another .