I'm sure the lenses will be sharp and the build quality will be excellent, but if the m8 is any indication the lenses will need calibration and it will be 5 firmware updates until they get the color right.
I don't think this will be the case. First of all, different CEO, and the new one is also the owner, and had to go through the pain of fixing everything which went wrong.
Secondly, the rangefinder in the M cameras is an ancient, mechanical wonder made by gnomes under the mountains in fairytale land, and the lenses move the focus via a shaped metal ramp, a little off-center wheel, a metal arm, and a multiple of other tiny components, any one of which can be knocked out of alignment by a mild bump. I love my M8 and those lenses are to kill for, but I would love a better, more stable focusing system. The S2 won't repeat this weird setup. And don't forget, Leica invented autofocus (I am pretty sure). They dropped it because they thought their customers wouldn't want it. Boy were they wrong, but that was back then.
Thirdly, while Leica has been very adamant that the S2 is 100% Leica, Phase One and Jenoptik are not there for show only. Leica is expanding like crazy, bringing all the Solms people and buildings back to Wetzlar where it all started, buying up little German specialist companies and integrating them in Leica, and they are really ramping up for something big. The new German-born owner is one of the richest people in Austria, and is a dyed-in-the-wool Leica fanatic himself, so you know his heart is in this, and not in the stock price or somesuch. My personal guess is that Phase One and Jenoptik are consulting with Leica. Things backfired with the DMR and Imacon, so this time, I am certain that there are behind-the-scenes deals about what Leica does and does not market, and this time they want to learn how to do everything themselves, to avoid the DMR firmware debacle. Phase One is apparently getting Leica lenses for the Phamiya, so you know that Leica and Phase aren't joking. That is serious IP there, and Leica has never gone so far before (Panasonic doesn't count here; another class). This isn't just about Capture One.
I guess none of us are old enough to remember this, but Leica was at the top of the heap some decades ago. Such memories (and losses) live long in the German psyche, and I do believe that it is Dr. Kaufmann's intention to get Leica back on top.
I am fascinated by how slow the lenses of medium format have become. Everything seems to be in the 2.8 to f4 range which is a buzz kill considering that Leica, Mamiya, Rollei had a lot of fast lenses in the past.
Given how closely the Leica news were guarded up until the last few days this time, I am pretty sure that they did not tell us all their spectacular news 9 months in advance of the first product. They are incredibly secretive at the moment, and this pre-announcement just doesn't fit that pattern. I suspect two things: first of all, Dr. Kaufmann stated on the record that the price (sadly I don't know if this is for the kit or the body) would be between 10.000-20.000 Euro, and that they hope to keep the price below 15.000 Euro. He would never say that unless they were almost positive that they can keep the price below 15.000 Euro, IMO, but maybe they are in fact intending to shoot for 10K? That would be a real coup, and in line with the rest of the news. Secondly, I expect that they have been holding back on lens specs, to see what the reaction would be. I suspect that they will throw in a couple of real pearls at release.
I do believe that the real intention here is to show the world that, given a clean sheet, Leica can out-design the rest of the world, including companies like Hasselblad. The R+DMR was hampered by a lineup of manual-focus lenses and a body designed for film, plus a lack of funding. The M8 was hampered by a brilliant lineup of expensive lenses which throw the light at the sensor at very oblique angles. The S2 will have no such issues. Given Leica's love of the simple and direct, I expect that this camera will be a joy to use, and will spawn a whole new generation of super-annoying Leica fanatics. I hope to be one of them.
I don't know if they will succeed, but this is what I think they are trying. Good luck to them!
Ah, I forgot to mention, Leica appears to be taking a different direction with these lenses, one which may mean that they can manufacture them cheaper than in the past. For one, they are re-using optical and mechanical components in various lenses, and secondly, there are no crazy 50mm f/0.95 or 21mm f/1.4 lenses here, just solid, useful designs. We'll see.