Very good reasoning based on the history of film and camera manufacturers, but I see a glitch. Other than the R module and a few point and shoot ventures with Panasonic, Leica is far behind the digital times compared to the big boys like Nikon and Canon. Nowadays it's not about the money and exclusivity that having a small Leica around your neck carried. There are less expensive and much more expensive outfits out there that produce stunning images. I have seen Uncle Bob at the local zoo carrying around a Canon 1D Mark II with a 70-200mm 2.8 IS-L and a 300mm 2.8 IS-L in the bag. Just when I thought he was the only one with high end gear, I turned around and saw a bunch of others with "cheaper" 5D's and Nikon D2X's, etc.
Originally Posted by donbga
Nowadays if you want a "showey" camera, Nikon and Canon have plenty to choose from. If you want outstanding image quality, Nikon, Canon, and others are there as well. It takes more than just good optics to capture really good digital images. The image sensor is equally important. With all the technology today (Nikon producing some type of nano crystal coating and ultra sharp lenses), many camera and lensmakers can produce outstanding optics. In the digital world it is now truely the camera you carry that makes the difference in terms of image quality.
I'm sure that Leica will catch up, maybe even surpass the big boys some day. Maybe with the M9...