@Eye-Broccoli, @dr croubie, @Harley, @Narcolepsy, @Canon-F-1, @7enderbender:
Perhaps some traditionalists don't realize that the Vari-angle screen can remain flush against the body without ever even once being swung out. Canon has recessed it into the camera's back, surrounded by a slightly raised, rounded frame. There's no way I can think of, that it can be accidentally dislodged from this position, even rolling round loose in a sack: only a somewhat forceful action of fingertip/nail can pry it open. To this extent it doesn't resemble the clam-shell design of many small camcorders. In appearance it's very little different from Canon's fixed-screen models. It is more vulnerable once swung out, obviously and of course. One must take care. The hinge seems to be very solid.
@WFT: Those vari-shooters are only blocking your view because the fixed-screeners in front of them don't dare stop and sit down, shooting blind as they are.
Admittedly, this is a good argument. But forgive me, as a traditionalist (which I am on a lot of things, not all) I don't really want to put up with a feature just because it can be done and because it may be useful to a minority. Is a fixed screen the be-all-end-all? No, of course not. But it's another thing that takes away from the experience of owning a rock-solid camera which to me is part of the fun and justification of shelling out thousands of dollars for camera gear (or similar items). Neither makes me a better photographer (cyclist, guitar player, golfer, skier, you name it...). But to me there is something to be said about solid workman ship that makes the experience of going out and shooting half-way decent photographs more enjoyable. A BMW, Audi or Lexus doesn't make me a better driver or even gets me any faster to work than a Corolla (or the Commuter Rail...) - but hell, I do like stick shifts and good acceleration when I drive.
But even in that somewhat lame comparison I could now (the traditionalist that I am) complain that the Germans and Japanese in the last few decades started to put way too much useless stuff into their vehicles. So even with money to burn I'd probably still take the train and rental cars for the necessary stuff and otherwise have a nice classic sports car in the garage.
So in as much as I "get" the fully utilitarian approach with turning everything into the equivalent of a Swiss Army knife (I do like Swiss Army knives though) I'm missing the emotional component. That's why people like me whine when they realize that their $1000+ new lens is made from plastic and is build in way that makes it unlikely that my kids will enjoy them later on like I still use some of my dad's old lenses. And it's a bit like the difference between a nice mechanical watch and a Chinese quartz movement. The latter will be more precise.
Maybe I'm interpreting too much into a silly old screen here but it's another one of those obvious changes that significantly change the experience independent of results.