However I can't help wondering if image quality is the be all and end all when it comes to judging a photograph. The subject, the emotion generated by the image, the artistic merits of the image and indeed the wow factor all play a part. Also photography is an art form, and above all it's subjective.
To that end I think that the FZ200 with it's at times slightly noisy files is capable of producing moody black and white images, particularly in the weather conditions I'm currently experiencing in my area of the UK. Couple that with it's relatively small size and the fact that beyond a spare battery you don't need to be carrying any other equipment it can comfortably accompany your outings that aren't being made purely for photographic purposes enabling a capture of unexpected opportunities to be made resulting of a record of the event, even if it has some technical shortcomings.
Totally agree with your sentiments, Barrie.