I guess it's been a while since anyone reviewed this camera. I bought one new when they first came out to replace my x-700 so that I could take advantage of auto focus that was new to SLR's at the time.
My camera operated flawlessly, and never exhibited the common LCD Panel bleed until I foolishly packed the camera in a cooler for water protection and allowed it to be exposed to excessive pounding in the bottom of a fishing boat.
I respond here to the comment that the LCD panel problem signifies a premature death for the camera since, as claimed in an earlier review, it "cannot be operated" without the info in the panel. This is not true. I've never heard of a panel bleeding totally black. If it did, using the camera would involve blindly relying upon the auto settings to determine exposure settings.
In any event, my LCD bled because of my own careless handling of the camera on just one day. I was shocked to learn that no repair parts were available. That shocked me and kept me from upgrading to what I considered the ultimate SLR, the Maxxum 9, as I surmised that something had to be amiss in Minolta-land that they would not support my fine camera by at least providing for a paid solution to what was described to me as a manufacturing defect.
I have since moved on to digital (Sony A100) and continue to have my photo-roots in the Minolta heritage. The 9000 was a fine camera in its day, not built to be consumed then thrown away like today's digital breed of cameras.
From a marketing value point of view, my Alpha 100, just six months old by my pockets, is already obsolete, having been replaced by three or four updated models for which upgrades are already in the works again.
The Maxxum 9000 was built to last,and last it did. Were it not for the demise of the film format, I doubt I would have replaced it even now.
Great camera, although I take no issue with some of the weaknesses pointed out by others, mainly a slow AF function that was not the best in low light situations (unless you had your 4000AF attached).