I finally had some time to shoot with the CoolPix P7100, other than time-lapse, and took it down to Granville Island in the evening to test its high ISO, its VR and is low-light focus. For a P&S, its high ISO shooting was quite impressive and I am happy to report that virtually all the issues I had with the original P7000 have been addressed. Not that the original P7000 had any issues in the image quality department, but it had a terrible AF mechanism that had a hard time locking on in low light or even in good light sometimes, if the contrast was low.
The P7100 nailed the focus time and time again. Although it slowed down a bit in really low light, it pretty much always seemed to lock focus... at least as well as any other high end P&S I've used.
Almost all of the UI sluggishness and quirkiness is gone and the shot-to-shot time for RAW shooting seems improved too. The new front mounted control wheel works nicely as well. Anyway, this is now a very worthy contender for the top high-end-raw-shooting-P&S title!
Image gallery: Nikon Coolpix P7100 at Granville Island