Pentax seem to be hanging on, and have some very nice design work coming out, I thought the K-01 was excellent and the new MX-1 very nice also. They've always ploughed their own furrow, Pentax, I reckon if I didn't shoot Canon I'd shoot pentax. Certainly what you get for the money (that 16MP sensor, weather sealing, massive legacy of inexpensive lenses) lang may the pentax lum reek. They are an interesting company making capable cameras at sensible prices. Canon could learn a lot from them.
I agree. I started with a great deal on a Q, liked the interface so much I sprung for a K-01 when it was being dumped at super low prices. Liked it so much I bough a 2nd one and another Q to use for, well, I'm not sure yet.
I now have K-5 IIs and a pile of K-mount glass, new and old, to play with.
I'm really enjoying shooting with Pentax more than with Nikon or even Canon, despite how familiar I am with the latter and how much I like the clean raw files of the former. Pentax is like a decent combination of Canon operability with SoNikon raw file quality. Sensible control layout, lots of customization and good ergonomics. Some poor ergonomics and control layout options too but, overall, I enjoy using my K-5 like I enjoyed the 7D and I feel more comfortable with knowing I can push that raw file pretty hard if I want to.
OTOH, the non-AA-filtered K-5 IIs (k52s from now on) delivers great per-pixel sharpness with a good lens, but is also showing up false color in some shots I didn't expect to have problems with so I may have to opt for a regular K5 for those scenes where I'm dealing with lots of specular hilites.
EDIT: forgot to add, I wish Ricoh-Pentax would learn a few marketing tricks from CANON. I don't ever recall ever seeing a Pentax ad. If it wasn't for the encouragement of ONE Pentax shooting friend, and plenty of solid convincing from my local Pentax rep, I'd likely have never bought into the system. I'd have been more tempted to go Fuji.
And that's my ABC (Anybody But Canon) story. I'll likely end up using the weather-sealed Pentax gear more for foul-weather work than my other systems. Their weather-resistant consumer level lenses are a great idea and they work well enough to use them in inclement conditions where better sharpness and optical performance is not essential.