Thanks for all the responses.
I have looked at alternative lenses, even found an EOS converted summilux-R that wasn’t all that expensive. One thing that plays on my mind though is that as much as I love the 7D, I only use it if I go out specifically for photography. In the coming months/years it’s possible that I might go on some exotic journeys as part of my work (and honeymoon) and I wonder if I would be happy lugging the 7D around with me. A rangefinder is indeed a potent package in a small size, it’s also very tough and can take a beating. That makes it an interesting option as a travel cam. Plus, I had been thinking about getting a new compact anyway. The rangefinder will double as a smaller camera (though not entirely compact like an EP-1) as well as giving a different kind of shooting experience.
I fully agree that the M9 is the real rangefinder to have, but way overpriced. My situation is not all that ‘Leica friendly’. I work as a PhD researcher and we don’t get paid that much. But I don’t go drinking on Saturday and my time is increasingly spent on my work, so I like to treat myself to decadent luxury every once in a while.
A Leica M8 would be a long term project and I don’t mind it not being perfect. For film the Bessa is an option too, but I have doubts whether or not I will like the workflow.
Most important is that I should have fun using what I have. I can’t justify a Leica based on my skills as a photographer, I just enjoy the experience learning. I know I will spend more on my hobby than I ever thought I would, but as long as I have fun it will be okay. (If I work hard enough I might make it to ‘professor’ and be able to treat myself to “night vision” with an M9 + Noctilux 0.95
Going for a micro-4/3 (especially the EP-1 with 20 1.7) is an interesting and much cheaper alternative, but I have a soft spot for the X1 when it comes to compacts. I still have to save up so I can follow the market for a while and see what happens.