I tried carrying a DSLR-sized super-zoom a few years back (I know, not even remotely similar to DSLR quality), but never found a good place to store it while hiking. Most carrying cases flop around too much when hiking, but putting it in the pack can really slow down a hike (and you can miss a good shot). I know one company makes a hipbelt DSLR holster that should be less floppy, but it would interfere with my backpack's hipbelt. I finally decided to just settle with 'good enough' and got a high end compact that fits into the hipbelt picket of my SMD backpack, and it is quick and convenient enough that I don't see myself going back to a larger camera.
My next camera will be a Panasonic TZ6 (I have the previous model). With the 25-300mm Leica lens, optical stabilization, and 16x9 aspect mode, really the only major compromises for me are low light performance/noise, super zoom option, and the delay common to all compacts. I know a DSLR will always look better, but I've taken some remarkably good shots with Panasonic compacts. Panasonic has improved it's noise issues considerably, and they have no visible barrel distortion at the wide end (at least on my 28mm model).
These are two Panasonic compact shots I took in low light last summer that have had no post processing and I used no tripod. They were both taken at Crater Lake in Oregon:
That said, if high quality photography is a real passion of yours (or part of your job), and you like to do things like blur a stream in low light or capture wildlife, there is no reason not to take whatever you need to get the shots you are looking for. Going UL liberates you to do things like focus on high-quality photography gear.