I found the PostScript to Michael's Canon G7 Review enlightening. Here is a photographer who is continually at the forefront of digital technology, a clear advocate of digital large format, who has become smitten with a tool incapable of capturing a RAW image.
Michael clearly states his reasoning behind his purchase, and gives the reader insight as to how he intends to use it. But he also states by purchasing it, "this will mean lower ultimate image quality in some situations than if it had raw mode".
I wonder then, how essential is RAW mode given the purpose of the camera -- to take vacation photos. There are likely some readers who will read this statement and hold off on the purchase. But for those who do purchase it, and do so with the intention of using it for their next vacation, is lack of RAW support really an issue?
Yes, yes, I know. RAW is better, gives you more control over the final image, produces optimum images, etc. However, my guess is, on average, vacation photos are rarely if ever printed larger than 8x10 (maybe 16x20). These type of shots usually end up on a Flickr or Smugmug page, emailed to grandma and a few co-workers, or sent to a local drugstore or photo lab for printing. Under these circumstances, isn't JPEG more than adequate?