Nice photos, Matthew. I like the 2nd. They have that soft, yet with detail, look to them that tends to be seen with legacy lenses.
I haven't been around the forums lately, good to see the thread chugging along. I think to compare the NEX to the V1 could be looked at in two ways:
1) Apples to Apples: Folks who will use the OEM glass will see them in similar light and choose the camera they like best, for whatever reasons, unless they're "Nikon Guys" then they'll just pick the V1 regardless :D
2) Apples to Oranges: Folks who use legacy/alt glass will not like the V1 as much for it's 4/3 sensor with 2x equivalent field of view.
The NEX's limitation with regard to lens selection is with the OEM lenses offered by Sony, which I admit is a lackluster line up. HOWEVER, the NEX is a great platform to mount just about any other lens that you can imagine on! There are adapters available to mount legacy glass from all of the major manufacturers, even somewhat obscure ones like the tiny Olympus Pen F (half frame) lenses. My interest in compact lenses became renewed again with the release of the NEX, so I started a spreadsheet of course. It's a work in progress, but starting to shape up into a nice little database now. For anyone curious here's a link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkDLVsAmrk_bdHFRdTktaThNeFFaYXVFOHFES2xCdVE#gid=0
Lenses are broken down by focal length, then by weight. Cost is estimated street price. Some of these prices are based on past purchases of mine, some on eBay etc... take them with a grain of salt.
Do backpackers really need autofocus? I rarely use it in 'daily life', but it has it's uses. I think anyone can focus on a mountain, lake, valley, or anything else that's not moving. To me focusing the lens, setting the aperture adds to the shooting experience, the feeling of a well damped focus ring is very satisfying :)
Of course if you don't take photos because you enjoy doing so, or having to 'work' the camera is not appealing, or will simply slow you down too much, then an autofocus lens is probably the way to go, or even a P&S camera depending on what exactly you want to get out of the process. At the risk of blog spamming, there is an interactive survey here that will make some suggestions for the type of camera that would (in theory) fit with your needs.
Getting back to lenses for a second, I have been looking for the holy grail of lenses for the NEX in the 20-28mm focal length (so, 30-42mm f.o.v. on the NEX) for landscape photos. The lenses I've landed on are the Voigtlander 21/4 Color Skopar, Contax 28/2.8 Biogon (for Contax G1, G2), and Olympus OM 24/2.8. I've got the Voigt, the other lenses are in the mail.
The Voigt is tiny, and has nice color rendition and very good sharpness across the frame. The Contax G has a reputation for excellence, at a higher price and higher cost, plus it has to be focused via the adapter. The Oly looks like it should be a stellar performer, at a very good price, but larger overall package. I really hope the Voigt holds it's own against the Contax and that the Oly isn't so good that it's hard to ignore the price difference... in otherwords I really like the tiny Voigtlander and hope that I end up re-selling the other two. Will post some results here when I get a chance... very busy lately....
Lastly, there are lots of great NEX images here, using various alternative lenses.