This thread definetly did not go the way I had intended. In my opinion - and my experience in digital SLRs is admittedly limited - the Olympus represents a fantastic value. The lenses available are of the finest quality and while there are not as many as there are available for Nikon and Canon the range is very streamlined both in focal range and price. I haven't seen a bad review yet on Olympus glass but I do understand some people's trepidation about using the four thirds system. I understand that if you are a long time Canon or Nikon user and you have a collection of lenses, then sticking with that line is a no-brainer. The same holds true for Sony if you have Konica/Minolta glass.
I do think that the Four Thirds sensor is a bit behind in low light situations and shooting at high ISOs, but dollar for dollar, Olympus buys you more camera for your money. On the flip side, the four thirds system means the cameras are smaller and lighter making them a better choice for photography of outdoor activities such as biking, skiing and mountain climbing. For the amateur photographer who is traveling or doesn't want to lug around a heavy bag of lenses and a bulky body, this is also a great system. That's not to say if you don't photograph strenuous outdoor activities or don't travel a lot that you shouldn't consider Olympus. I think there are people out there that dismiss Olympus out of hand just because it does not have the name Canon or Nikon.
Yes, there are some compromises but I think they are blown out of proportion a bit. The four thirds system is fairly new but is still developing. Olympus has shown great improvement from the E-500 to the E-510 to the current E-520. Compared to the top of the line E-3 the E-510/520 offers many of the same features. There was a lot of time between the release of the E-1 and the E-3 but I believe that Olympus will continue to improve the sensor and no one is questioning the quality of Olympus lenses. The E-3 with SWD lenses is supposed to be the fastest focusing DSLR out there.
Knowing that my lenses outperform the cameras sensor to me is reassuring. If I continue to grow as a photographer I know my lenses are futureproof. When I swing for a better body like the E-3 or whatever its successor is, I'll be all set with top quality glass.
I hope that if there are any Olympus fans in the Head-Fi community that we can use this thread to share experiences, equipment notes and maybe even some shots.
If not, then I guess this thread will wither on the vine because it is not my intention to keep defending Olympus. I just want to put on my UM2s, pick up my camera, and shoot some photos!