I wasn't expecting to like these cameras, the D7000 and the D5100 quite as much as I do. After years of complaining about the bulk and weight of DSLR's I am surprised that I actually like using these two.
While being very appreciative of the quality that cameras like the Nikon D3X and Sony a850 produced, their size was sometimes daunting. Like wise the efficiency and all-round versatility of the Canon 5DMkII and 7D was admirable. They just weighed a lot!
However with these two Nikons, particularly the D5100, I don't seem to want to use anything else at the moment.
Quality images, ease of handling, controls and menus that work to the benefit of the photographic process instead of hindering it, great build quality and ease of use have all contributed to this. Added to this the 3 zooms I've bought are excellent. The combination that really works for me however is the D5100 plus the 16-85mm zoom.
I've used it for several hours at a time and it doesn't feel like a weight or a burden. I'm using it with a £5 handgrip I got off ebay and it literally feels like an extension of my hand. I never actually disliked DSLR's, I was simply frustrated that I couldn't find a combination that produced quality results and was not a weight to carry around. If the D5100 is an indication of how things are going to be from now on, then the DSLR is far from dead.
Hopefully we'll get cameras that retain optical viewfinders for a few more years and certainly the quality / size equation that CSC's have gone some way to solving seems to be starting to influence the more traditional camera manufacturers.
The D7000 looks enormous next to the Leica M9, but take off the battery grip and the weight difference is less than it would seem from the picture. The D7000 is a camera I'll be using less for long-distance walking, if at all, but will be very useful in many situations, where speed and versatility are required.
With me its always been about weight and not about size. After many years I have a couple of DSLR's I actually want to use, rather than I think I should.