The more reviews I read and the more comments I see, the more I start to step back. Sure, if it was about $200 less I would be seriously considering buying the camera, but I think that's part of the marketing formula. The EP1 is designed to be coveted. The positive.... Style. Oh man, I have never seen a single digital camera as beautiful as this... and I'm not the only one... many people who are typically put off by the style of digital cameras is falling in love with this machine. Everyone from luddites to Leicaphiles (is there a difference?) is drooling over it. The promo shots with the german models in 60's fashions is on target. This is a camera for the fashion consicous, retro sensitive and otherwise techno-fearing. Everything about it screams that... the simplified controls, the words "since 1959" written on it as if it's your local hardware store... the availablility of an OM adapter right out of the bat... the leather case, the optional gothic F lenscaps (for Japan only I assume) the optical viewfinder... the stainless steel exterior... and even the promos all speak to this "hip" movement. And I for one am taken in by it. I cannot stop thinking about this camera. Except... wait. Many of the selling points of the camera are turning out to more and more be oddly juxtaposed against contradictions. The reported heavy girth of the camera and rugged stainless steel construction is apparently a facade covering a plastic body. I'm curious if there's lead blocks somewhere in there a'la the Time-Life camera. The assessories... boy there are some nice assessories huh? Except wait. The camera doesn't have an on-board flash like most users are accustomed to, so the optional flash is really a must-have for fill-flash users. The camera doesn't have an optical viewfinder, so the optional one is a boon for traditional camera users... except that it doesn't have any form of focus confirmation and the lens it's matched to doesn't have a focus scale... huh? Am I the only one thinking that the optical viewfinder was just thrown in at the last minute as an afterthought to make an extra $100 and add just a slice more "retro" flair? Surely if it had been considered from the beginning of the project someone would have spoken up and said "hey how will anyone know if the camera is in focus?" Even the Pen name is a misnomer... the original Pen cameras had two distinct features... half-frame 35mm... which is the same size as an APS-C sensor and a vertical format. Is it REALLY a Pen camera in landscape? Maybe that's just me being picky. Bottom line. The thing that really got me to thinking about how this camera could just be set upon us for the purpose of marketing is the price. The base camera costs more than the e620 which it apparently shares parts with... except that is is missing many of the mechanical parts and the extra stuff that goes into that. No mirror, no prism, no secondary sensor to run the LCD, no secondary metering system, no secondary focusing system, no flash, no eye-level viewfinder... hmmm. So not only do you get less for more, but by the time you "gear-up" the EP1 to match the e620, you end up at twice the price! Wasn't the lack of a mirror and a prism and all that complicated stuff supposed to make the camera cheaper to produce??? Not only that, but many of the assessories seem oddly highly priced. $200 for a 14GN flash really? $100 for an optical viewfinder that does LESS than the viewfinder found in many cameras priced below $100!? $160 for an OM adapter?... what is essentially a metal tube with an OM mount at one end and a M43 mount on the other... c'mon, that should be no more than $80!!! (Didn't Olympus give away 43-OM for FREE when the e-system first came out????) The $180 M43 to 43 adapter... does anyone else feel like Olympus is competing against THEMSELVES here? I mean really... if you buy a 43 adapter you are going to put Olympus 43 lenses onto it. I mean, if these were adapters to Leica or Contax I could understand the price... but jesus! Fetish. I think in the end what we are looking at is a made-to-order marketing fetish object. It's just cheap enough to be within the grasp of people with a healthy disposable income who don't care too much about the technical observations I made, but just expensive enough to keep out the rabble. It's the kind of thing that the guys who spend wayyy too much on entertainment systems will consider as a decoration for said entertainment system. And with the Leicaphiles drooling over what seems to be their only sensible answer to the digital Leica question, there will be lots of snobs talking this machine up... after all the "poor-man's Leica" is a conversational favorite. ($1000 poor-man's Leica, har har) We were told that the EP1 would bridge the PNS market with the DSLR market, but instead we end up with a camera that costs more than Olympus's most advanced SLR. Is that price point meant to convince more people to buy the e620? Regardless, when Olympus is ready to release a TRUE consumer-priced M43 camera, the EP1 will have provided so much positive attention for the company and the system that consumers should flock to it. Dammit. I still want one.