Before the Olympus E-Pl1, I owned a Pentax K110d and a Samsung NV15. The K110d is a really great entry-level DSLR, but a little to big and heavy for my taste to carry around. So, I bought the NV15 for everyday uses, it is very small, but I never was satisfied with the image quality.
Recently, I discovered this new market, the micro 4/3 camera and it was the kind of camera I was waiting for: small, light, good image quality, full manual control and relatively cheap.
Just to point out what kind of photographer I am: I have learned to take picture with a Nikon FM1 and a FM2 (I still have this little wonder) and I really like to take still picture, scenery and event of life. I have done film development in B&W, so now with digital, I like to have RAW editing.
Now about the E-PL1!
-Very small for a DSLR-like camera
-Very good image quality (colors are wonderful)
-Low noise at high iso
-Price (cheapest m4/3 camera out there, in Canada I means)
-IS in the camera (not the lens)
-No viewfinder by default
-Plastic lens mount
-limited lens choice
Now, I own this little camera for 1 week and I felt in love with. Before I bought this one, I read many, many review on the internet and after 1 week, I can confirm they are right, in general. The only con that still bugs me is the plastic lens mount. Anyway, it seems ok now but I hope it will not use too fast. For the rest, you can always buy a viewfinder and a lens adaptor, but for me, it was no need. So I am very well served with this great camera. I can carry it everywhere, it's retro look catch the eye and I am very satisfied with it. Will it please everyone? No, because for pro, the 1/2000s maybe a problem and if you buy every accessory, it will cost you more than a real DSLR. The IS (image stabilization) does really great think, but I never have one before. And it on the camera, meaning if I change the lens, IS is still there!
Before I choose this one, I checked the Samsung NX10 and the E-PL1 in a big electronic store, but since the NX10 is a little heavier and bigger, I preferred the E-PL1 and I don't regret it. Amazon was cheapest and the shipping was really fast. Finally, the panasonic GF1 was over budget.
One last comment, it's a shame to see how limited the camera choice is on Amazon.ca versus US or all other Amazon stores over the world. I have the impression to be in a retarded country. This is not limited to Amazon by the way, it's probably our "good" government that protect us, stupid consumers, from awesome (and dangerous) technology.