I'm not too familiar with the EPL-1, but I do know that its shot to shot performance is quite bad. But I also know ppl with that camera that takes some pretty good pictures with it.
I also didn't know the price of EPL-1 is that cheap now. The GF1 and the EP-2 is so much more exp that I didn't think m43 was worth the price. I obviously is not a good source for m43 cameras.
Before I got my Nex-5, I had the Canon 200sx. I like the megazoom capability of the camera (12x), but I really couldn't defocus the background because the F-Stop is so high (3.5). If you are not familiar with that, don't worry about it. The 2 questions you should have when thinking about your next camera are:
How badly do you need the mega zoom feature(10x or above)?
Will you be willing to invest more money in other lens in the near future?
The second question is because the kit lens that comes with any DSLR or mirrorless cameras are so average in performance that you will almost always need to invest in additional lens. If you know you can't afford to, maybe you should look into something else. If you don't need megazoom and don't have the money to invest in additional lens, you should look into the Canon S95 or the Olympus XZ-1.
Oh, I can answer the question about the NEX-5 UI after the firmware update. The customizable buttons will not block out the LCD when you change the more common settings. It will only take up a portion of the screen (1/5 maybe) on the right side. But IMO, its not comfortable to hold up and adjust the settings. I always bring the camera down to my waist while I change the settings.
Edited by jngai - 2/16/11 at 10:48am