I've been very attracted at one point by the Sony, unfortunately, if I had to invest in a FF 35mm now, I'll choose Canon or Nikon: no hassle, no worries, and an enormous amount of lenses and accessories new and second-hand for any kind of purpose.
That is a very important factor.
Don't want to disagree with you (because you make some fair points) but still provide some data on the flipside.
In the end everybody will have to make their own choice on their own grounds.
This is what I see on the flipside of your points:
- In body SSS makes all lenses (even 20 year old Minolta ones) stabilized, once that becomes an option your choices become a lot bigger. Which other brand has a stabilised 85/1.4 for low light, a stabilized 200/2.8 prime .....?
- There is quite a big 2nd hand Minolta/Sony lens offering on e-bay and craigslist
- If you don't trust that there is a quite active 2nd hand forum with good reputation for fair deals (and virtually no scams) on Dyxum.com
- In Paris the 2nd hand shops on boulevard Beaumarchais are reported to stock an abundence of 2nd hand A-mount lenses, I have seen some in shops in Belgium as well.
- In the end, once your lineup is complete how many lenses do you really buy and need?
- Except for the Nikon D3x no other FF has the detail and resolution of the A900/850
I think Sony now is clearly established as #3 in the DSLR market, but still some way behind Canon and Nikon
Will they ever become #2? Sony says yes but I think it's a long shot and very tough road as neither Nikon or Canon are sitting on their hands either.
Will they withdraw from the DSLR segment? I think unlikely. They've invested heavily in lens and body development and are constantly growing so barring something that's blindsiding me I think they're here to stay.
I see their interest in EVIL development as positive. Both Canon and Nikon do P&S, Bridge and DSLR so I would be really surprised if they would't want a bite of the EVIL pie as well, especially looking at the success of the M4/3 that Olympus and Panasonic started.
Again, I'm not arguing your points, but trying to provide a different and supplementary perspective.