Just a couple comments on some cameras I tried at a local Best Buy.
Nikon J1- I really like the size and the speed- it seemed to focus faster than a D7000 with a 18-105 kit lens in the low light situations of Best Buy. I really like the responsiveness, I don't like the price and the lack of lenses. And it desperately needs a PASM dial. It takes quite a bit of menu digging to get to the PASM shooting modes, and I wouldn't say that the menus are well organized either. I also didn't like how the settings would be changed via the nub on the upper right corner. Not a big deal, but I thought that the spinning wheel would be more normal.
Nikon D5100- quite a bump from the D40 I have, but operationally the most similar- I was comfortably shooting within 30 seconds of picking up the camera. Button placement still is annoying- they migrate every generation or so, but the camera is responsive. I find the angle of the shutter button to be slightly more annoying, as the angle is more pronounced. I don't really like that, as I actually feel like my hand slides off more easily that way. I'm having some trouble between deciding for a D5100 or a D7000 if I were to ever upgrade. On one hand, I enjoy small cameras more- the smaller the camera, the more likely I'd bring it out the door as I hate being encumbered by gear when I just want to enjoy the day or something like that. But I do love the build of the D7000 very much so, and the dual dials.
Nikon D7000- quite the awesome kit- fast, responsive, and advanced. I'll need to sit with the manual for a while with this one, but I was still able to do basic shooting with it. The PASM modes of course are all available, but changing how the autofocus uses the AF points was something I didn't know how to do. I love, however, that all the major shooting options is just a button and a dial spin away. On button placement- as I'm used to a D40, the info button for the D7000 is exactly where the delete button used to be on the D40, so I never allowed myself to press it over there. Also, I also love the top screen, as I lose my night vision if I pop the really bright info screen in a dark shooting situation. Not that I do too much of that, but I like the option.
Fuji X100- I spent 2 seconds with this camera as the battery was dead. I like the heft, it's smaller than I expected, but still quite large. But the build was only so-so. Maybe it's because it was a display model and it's been fondled to death.
I also tried some Nikon point and shoots- I don't think I'm ever going back to them, to say the least.
And I also handled a Sony NEX camera, it's okay. Battery was dead so I didn't try it. I was impressed about the build quality of the lens, but the zoom and focus ring was reversed in comparison to Nikon cameras, so I was a bit confused at first.