Technicals for this camera have been expounded upon ad nauseum already and they are mostly good. So lets go in another direction. I am a photographer who uses a Canon 5D2 DSLR with the Canon 24-70mm L lens as my every-day setup. It yields superb images for this format. But, after years of using this combo, you start to feel weighed down ... I needed an alternative to "shlepping" this setup when going on a casual hike or family outing. I ALSO wanted a backup to the Canon 5D2 for those photo trips/assignments where the Canon setup might become inoperative ... sure, I could get another 5D2 body and get weighed down even MORE ... no thanks. My solution, at this time, is the Panasonic Lumix G3. For now I use it with the 14-140mm Panny OIS zoom lens (I don't particularly like the kit lens that comes with the camera). I also particularly like the Panny 20mm f/1.7 lens which is tiny. The G3 is NO Canon 5D2, BUT it is very convenient and the images are very good compared to what most lightweight cameras can do. It took me awhile to be confident enough to trust this camera for images that I care about capturing, but it does a pretty good job considering the relatively low price of admission. YES, there may be better small cameras coming out (usually you're obsolete in 4 months after your purchase of a small camera). The Sony NEX-7 looks promising. If it lives up to its promise, it will probably edge out the G3 in image quality, BUT at twice the price. The inexpensive G3 fills a niche for me: as a fun camera which I have confidence in and as a backup for my DSLR. The 4 stars represents the combination of G3 value and performance for me at this point in time. And lets not forget the G3's "fun" factor.
UPDATE March 2012: I've purchased Panasonic's new micro 4/3 14-42mm "Power" "X" zoom lens from Amazon and it has become my new walking around lens. The quality of the images that this lens produces is remarkable, certainly exceeding my expectations. Now I trust this camera/lens combination even more than before. This new lens/camera combo requires a Panasonic firmware update for best performance, but it's very easy to do. The zoom lever is necessarily on the lens and that position takes a bit of getting used to, but it is silent and the lens zoom is right in the range that I prefer. Bravo. I raise my rating to 5 stars with the proviso that this new setup is still no 5D2, but is great for what it is.