Looking at the new reviews of APS-sized compact cameras, there are really four choices. The technology leader is definitely the Sony NEX-5, but it is nearly impossible to use because there are so few buttons. So typical of Sony to have amazing hardware. It is light and small and incredible picture quality up to ISO 800, but impossible to use beyond a point and shoot.
Then there are the micro 4/3rd from Panasonic and Epson. I’d say the Lumix GF1 has the lead because it has a flash and is usable. But both the Epson and the Panasonic will have a hard time surviving if Sony fixes its menus.
The dark horse is the Samsung NX.
The main thing is probably that if you are looking for the ultimate dream. An incredibly high quality picture and light weight, the future is in the upcoming Nikon and Canon models or if Sony can ever figure out how to make the menus usable and have more dedicated buttons.