Obviously, we're all speculating. But....
There has been a void in the market place for a TRUE "professional's" personal, casual camera. I'm not just talking about "technically." I'm also speaking to "aesthetically." I shoot for a living. When I have a camera in my hand, I want to know/feel that I'm holding an instrument worthy of my skills... and I want to know that the image it is capable of producing is ALSO worthy of my skills. To his date... NO ONE had done that. Sure, we can make a list of cameras that reviewers have dubbed "the professional's point n' shoot," but every single one of them comes with an "if" or a "but" or an asterisk accompanying it.
I've got a hunch that the X1 may very well be THAT camera. I hold a slight reserve due to the fact it appears to lack and optical view finder... but (oh, oh.... there it is) but, short of that... this is a professional photographers personal Sunday driver. THIS appears to be the real deal.
Now I realize some may say, "well why wouldn't a professional photographer us an M body for a personal camera?" Because an M is professional money. It is an expense that a pro will tend to preserve and allocate toward business equipment. No, I think we all would enjoy a quality little jewel in our pocket that separates us from the rest of the point 'n shoot crowd. No explaining WHY ours cost more than it's Panasonic cousin. No defensive explanations that ... this is a Leica.
The X1 is a Leica. In pictures at least, it appears substantially larger than the D-Lux series.... yet a bit smaller than an M.
Why fixed lens? Because a good photographer will make is photos work with what he has. (hey... I just shot a kids golf clinic today with a 500mm as my only lens. The photos are stunning). If I need 90mm instead of 35mm, I'll simply take 10-15 steps forward. Hopefully it won't be off a cliff. LOL
Leica has made a smart move here. Consider the market position. From pricing categories, they have product at the upper end of the point n' shoot scales.... (c-lux, d-lux) and the can let Panasonic do all the RD and development. Not sullying up the home team's locker room. They continue in their own space uncontested with the M. They move their top of the line initiative into the medium format space with the S2. (remember, this price point also generates margins worthy of the effort) ... it's not aimed at a cost conscious target. And now, the end-all of personal digital cameras... the X1. Probably priced around $2K... truly worthy of the Leica name.... and in a market space where it will stand completely on its own. Sure... you'll have an odd Ricoh, or EP1, or Sigma... but at the end of the day, it will be all of them together compared to "The Leica."
If my guess are correct... this is all nothing less than brilliant.
Of course, I could be wrong.