Michael Reichmann at Luminous Landscape just wrote an essay on why cameras often have glaring design flaws. It seems that the big problem at most camera companies is that there aren’t any photographic enthusiasts working in senior engineering and product management, and they don’t consult photographers in the early stages of designing new cameras. He doesn’t name any names, but it’s easy enough to guess which few companies are the exceptions: Leica, Pentax, and Phase One. Correct me if I’m wrong.
There are two great discussions in the forums.