Setting my sights on better days
You make an excellent case for having better gear. More light does cost more money. The fact is, going with prime lenses, although being "limiting" in having to actually get off your keester and move, also provides one of the best solutions to getting the shot. Having a broad mix of selectable glass for the occasion, in my opinion and practice, is really the best of both worlds.
JR's criticism ignores the idea of having adequate optical solutions for your camera body. If you truly believe you can solve your problems by jumping to Nikon or Canon brands, man ... have at it. Just bring your treasure chest of hard earned money with you, as I assure you, it will get a lot lighter.
SONY has invested in making a go of their DSLR offerings. Again, spreading it across six different intro-cameras is a little much, but people can get a reasonable taste of things to come when they decide to climb into the Full Frame seat. I bring this up in the absence of the a700, now.
The a700 was truly a pinnacle camera. From using it you could feel the just about all aspects of normal DSLR photography. It covered all the bases and despite not having the newer technology of LiveView, that really was more of a spin-off of P&S digital cameras, not SLRs. The other low-end offerings simply incorporated that, but in doing so ... they lost sight the true technological edge the a700 brought to the party. The addition of video is just another distraction and most higher end photographers ignore it, despite the hype. Call it just another "gadget" or a "bell & whistle" that really is not going to be missed by the still photographer.
SONY is sticking around, but they need to adopt a better relationship with their customers. It is, as it has been, in this man's opinion, abysmal.