Hi Frank, glad you enjoyed the review! (and thanks for the D80 tip!)
Hi Johan, those are all good questions.
Yes, the general tendency to underexpose can be corrected by applying exposure compensation. Some people might like the fact the K10D will rarely if ever blow any highlights, but if I had one, I'd probably leave it at +2/3 EV for most of the time. I'd also tweak the contrast, sharpness and saturation settings to deliver punchier output, but again that's just a personal preference. The good news is once you've got it looking right, those settings will work for all subsequent photos.
In terms of dust removal, it's easy to use the menu option on all DSLRs to open the shutter, after which you use a blower brush to blow some air into the body. This normally displaces any pesky particles! We have a workshop about doing that here:
In terms of anti shake, yes, you're right, a Canon or Nikon lens with built in IS or VR is typically quite expensive, but in my personal view, lens-based systems are more effective. In my tests with Canon and Nikon lenses, I've regularly experienced 3 or even 4 stops of compensation, whereas with built-in systems like the Sony and Pentax, I typically only get 2 to 3 stops. Again that might be my own luck, but one thing's for certain: with lens-based stabilisation you can see the effect through the viewfinder and tht's both reassuring, and also very helpful for composition at longer focal lengths.
In terms of metering, the Nikon system is much more sophisticated and allows it to better judge or evaluate a scene. The Pentax is fine for most shots, but there were several where it was fooled and required manual compensation. Just check the last photo in the K10D gallery of the church compared to how the Nikon handled it.
http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Penta ... age5.shtml
Ultimately the Nikon D80 delivers better output straight out of the box than the K10D, but once you've equipped it with a VR lens, it's getting pricey. The K10D requires more user intervention, but it sure represents good value if you're willing to tweak.