Thanks for the well-written article from Thom. His comments on the S2 and 14n, both of which I own, are mirrored by my own experience.
It is easy to wonder why one person says the 14n has "horrendous" noise, whereas another claims it is "noise free". How can they both be right? Well, they are; it all depends on how you use the camera. With the Kodak 14n, for example, the received wisdom is to drive exposures up in to the cameras ERI zone, then pull back the exposure in Photodesk. No-one from Kodak ever said this was the way to use the 14n; we had to find out by trial and error.
In short, by the time we found out how to use the 14n properly, the damage regarding noise had already been done. I hope manufacturers learn from this.