I find Sony's approach to the R1 interesting . . or maybe more "confusing".
They have access to all the toys in the store . . the larger sensor, good lenses, image stabilisation (used in the H1), blazingly fast AF (used in the F828 and more recent V3), options of CF or MS cards, etc, etc. Yet they choose to ham-string the R1 by leaving the fast AF, and IS, off.
Possibly there is a cost factor involved? How much would the inclusion of the AF and IS have bumped up the manufactured price of the camera? I guess only Sony knows. Is Sony using the include-this-exclude-that design approach to place cameras into niche markets? Again, only they know, but what it is doing is creating cameras which are Jacks-of-some-trades but no Masters-of-all. If they had included the fast AF and IS it would have put the R1 well ahead of the digicam pack, and probably ahead of many of the budget dSLR's. There would have been no purchase "maybe's", it would have been a no-brainer.
Sony appear to have done this on other models as well. The superb V3 is ham-strung with poor software in Auto mode. The H1 can only use MS media. It's almost as if each model has a little piece left out in order to limit it to some degree.
If we, as average people-in-the-street, can see these omisions then one has to assume that the Sony engineers and product developers (who are steeped in the industry) are doing this deliberately? I understand that business is often about compromises, but the camera industry right now is extremely competitive, and I would have thought that Sony would want to put out the very best product possible in order to stay ahead. On the other hand maybe they know something about their clients which I don't! . . .
P.S. . . . I've used Sony as the example here, but there are other brands which appear to follow this principle as well.
P.P.S . . . I own many Sony products, which only adds to my frustration at their apparent design philosophy!