The greatest drawbacks with this camera are the price and that it has no optical zoom. The payback is that the image quality is astonishing - especially for a compact camera. With a large CMOS sensor as found in larger digital SLRs and 12 megapixels, you can obtain raw image files in Adobe DNG format of about 18 MB and JPEGS of about 5 MB with beautiful image quality. You don't need to magnify your images to a very large size though to see the quality of the lens. I carry my X1 in my (large) purse, and keep an optical viewfinder in the hotshoe - with the viewfinder, it is on the large side for a purse, without it would be perfect.
I have found the autofocusing and metering to be very good, but the user has everything from totally manual control of exposure and focusing to completely automated operation. I have found this camera to be excellent for landscape and close-up (not macro) work. Closest macro is only 30cm, but the results are superb. Portraits would be good I think with this camera. It's not as good at indoor party scenes, and it wouldn't be my camera of choice for sports (too slow, no zoom).