Leica expert Erwin Puts has published part one of his impressions of the Leica M8. Here's an excerpt:
The M8 fits in seamlessly in the evolution of the M camera. It is however not an M7 with a chip implanted. It is a camera with its own personality that leans much more than any previous M model in the direction of automated functionality. The M8 enables the continuation of the classical M-style of photography in the digital domain. The main argument for investing in the M8 (buying an M8 would be a too simple action), is the continued use of the Leica M lenses and anyone who owns a suite of Leica lenses would be happy to put them on an M8 and enjoy the fine optical characteristics.
The design of the M8 is focussed on this enabling aspect: the use of the M lenses. Given the technological infrastructure inside the camera, we have to admit that the superior optical imagery of the Leica lenses cannot (yet) be exploited in all dimensions. The overall performance of the M8 (optics, sensor technique and post processing) will be most certainly a match for the best players in the market (the advanced and professional DSLR-models), but it will be difficult to surpass them.
Thanks to Peter Burian for bringing this to our attention.