My M6 has been with me for 18 years now. I had many more sophisticated auto-focus cameras but none ever came close to my M6. There is something mystical about this Leica. Its feel, handling and need for the Photographer to control most aspects of the shot make it unrivaled by any other camera. This camera was so good that it took Leica 18 years to make the M7.
These last few years I have left analogue photography a bit aside. Digital photography apart from being cheaper and quicker has been making huge leaps in quality over these years. I also admit that since I don't have a black-room anymore commercial prints are no way near as rewarding. I have not used my M6 for about 3 years now and the other "girls" just don't feel the same.
Leica has not transitioned too well to the Digital era and their financial situation is not too buoyant because of this. It has taken them 3 years to adapt their flagship "M" camera to the new media. In about 3 weeks the very much anticipated M8 will hit the stores at last! After miles of rumors and speculation the first digital M will see the light.
The overall feel I have at this new M is very positive. However, looking at the M8 there are several things that could have been improved. Not being a full-frame sensor is one flaw and that it has a metal electrical shutter is the other (plus, I miss the wind lever). Even if the shutter speed is increased from 1000 to 8000, the shutter sound is not the same. Believe or not, the quietness of the "M" series shutter is one of the main attractive for Leica owners. Here is an awesome audio file; first you will hear the shutter of the cloth curtain and second the new metal curtain. I guess that a cloth shutter would also be a more likely to leave dust on the digital sensor. Other than that, Leica have managed to keep the M8 true to the M philosophy. In any case, with the constant evolution technology don't discard an M9 two years from now.
The M8 is on my x-Mass wish list... can't wait to start shooting again.