Another thought experiment, as it is a slow day for me
If you could cannibalise parts from different Leica M bodies, what would you take to create your own "perfect" M?
The reason I ask is because when I had only a chrome M6TTL, I wished I had the AE of the M7 and that it was black. Now that I have a black chrome M7 I wish it was black paint so that it would brass like Jim Marshall's M4. And then I held the M4-P and the lack of (batteries + internal meter + brass) made it balance so much nicer in my hands than the M6TTL or the M7. Then I looked through the .91 viewfinder of a friend's M3 and I wish I had that instead of .72. And then I saw the M5 and I thought what a great logical design that was, and I wished my M had vertical strap lugs. And so on.
So I guess my ultimate M would be a combination of the above:
size, heft and balance of the M4-P, with the VF of the M3, the ergonomical design of the M5, the AE of the M7, the finish of the M4, the shutter dial of the M5, and the price of the CL.