Quote Originally Posted by elcabezagrande View Post
... "A range finder with point and shoot quality"? What does that even mean? ...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/mamiya135ee/
Hi,
this is my silly way of saying that "I don't expect a Leica-camera-with-Leica-lenses-for-quality but just a nice & simple camera WITH rangefinder to have fun with and still take great pictures so don't beat me up".

Quote Originally Posted by elcabezagrande View Post
There are many point and shoot cameras with lenses that are of very high quality. Did the camera makers forget how to make good optics when they added automation, or something?
And your quite right: some of the "simpelefied" cameras have very good lenses. Any camera is still just a black box with some glass in front of it (or even only a pinhole). It all depends on what your goals and style are. Don't get me wrong: my Leica M7 with my 35 mm Summicron is a wonderful camera helping me to make great images and I love to use it. But I still try to live by the saying of Ansel Adams:

" ... avoiding the common illusion that creativity depends on equipment alone ... " (from his book: The Camera).