The Sony NEX-C3 isn't a perfect camera. Manual focus on the stock 18-55mm 3.5/5.6 lens is slower than i'd like, it doesn't fit easily in a pants or jacket pocket, and video shooting settings are almost non-existent. Nevertheless, it's my favorite camera I've used this year, and that includes the 8MP camera on the iPhone 4S I bought just two months ago. Yes, the best camera may be the one most readily available to you, as a good cameraphone is for those spur-of-the-moment photos. But another way to think about it is that if you only really get one chance to snap those kodak moments, the "good enough" quality of the latest smartphone camera is never going to do that moment justice, especially when I want a buttery bokeh effect or if I'm in a low-light environment. A full-on DSLR will get the job done, but I'm not ready to be "that guy" who carries a bulky camera around with him at all times, no matter how fashionable the camera bag.
That's why this latest generation of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras is the right serving or porridge for me.
Popularized by Panasonic and Olympus with their Micro-four-thirds sensor format, mirrorless cameras pack the image quality of entry-level DSLRs while staying almost as small as a point-and-shoot. Sony's NEX line is my favorite because its sensors are actually the same size as the APS-C ones found in your typical Canon and Nikon DSLRs, with truly impressive low-light photography results to show for it. The Canon 30D I use at the office for product shots has all but been replaced by the NEX-C3, which boasts the same manual settings as higher-priced cameras--just with parent-friendly software controls.
That's not to say there's no room for a DSLR in my future. Lens selection for mirrorless cameras are still relatively limited, and I'm still holding out for Canon's 7D update to dive into serious video shooting. But the NEX-C3 still regularly amazes me (and anyone I show it to) with the quality of photos it takes, given its understated size. It's raised my bar for what's considered "good enough," and as a result has put the onus on me to be a better and more practiced photographer. And that's the best praise I could give a camera.