I have been taking photos on and off since the late 1960's. If it wasn't for the entry-level cameras out there, I'd never have been able to get into this. Product ranges like the Coolpix have a very important place. As you point out there used to be a clear difference, but that is much less so now.
I am always trying to reconcile myself to those who have cameras that are now considered as 'entry-level' and do more, at higher MP levels, longer and wider lenses, have a better DR and shoot at higher ISO's than cameras I used to think were clearly for professionals only. It sure is an interesting time....
well said bjrichus.
to think of what we used to achieve with manual focus, needle metering,200 ISO, 400 started to get grainy, shooting racing cars.......and to look at at a D3100 now.