Fleece is relatively cheap, durable (it doesn't leak if you tear it), easy to launder (low heat!!!) and works great in cool soggy environments. If you are in a boat of any kind, it is the only way to fly. You can sleep in it comfortably too.
It doesn't compress well and the weight/loft isn't as good as down, but a down jacket needs a finely woven shell to keep the feathers (and sweat) in, where a fleece will breath and transport moisture out to evaporate. You can stand around in camp with your fleece to cut the chill and cap it with a shell if the wind comes up. Fleece and windshirts or rain shells are the perfect system. I have pull-overs, hoodies, "cardigans", and vests in several weights.
Did I mention that I like fleece? :)
BTW, I tried a couple soft shell jackets this winter and found them useless. Great around town, but just a cold boat anchor on the trail. I finally came to the conclusion that they fit in the same slot as a Levi jacket, but synthetic instead of cotton. A windshirt and a 100w fleece will kick any soft shell in the derriere.