Photojournalist Michael Kamber gives the Leica M8 a realworld fieldtest in Iraq. His conclusions are pretty negative:
The Leica M3 of the 1950’s was an instant success, not because Leica held to quaint design and outdated technology (i.e. the M8’s removable bottom plate) in a misplaced effort to attract classicists, but because they used new technology to build a camera that was on the cutting edge of its time. The M8, in contrast, is years behind other cameras—a photojournalist’s tool that cannot white balance, consistently expose a picture or deliver reasonable low-light performance--and one which has poorly designed controls.
As I said earlier, I do not write this because I dislike Leica, quite the opposite. I have used their cameras for 23 years and invested tens of thousands of dollars in their products. When working in war zones, however, my first rule is to eradicate all the uncertainties from my kit. There are enough uncertainties when the shooting starts. The M8 introduces numerous uncertainties into the photography equation. For a working photojournalist in a combat situation, I would judge the Leica M8 to be unusable.
Read rest of article: http://web.mac.com/kamberm/Leica_M8_Field_Test,_Iraq/Page_1.html
I'm happy with my Leica M7 but have to admit that it's gathering dust as I use digital cameras these days. I would have gotten an M8 except that the price / performance just doesn't make it compelling.