I personally think you are leaning the right way. The A1 is a class camera. The image stabilization is great for indoor shots without flash and shooting in limited light outside at longer focal lengths. The IS doesnít do anything to help subject motion though. I like the big manual zoom ring on a camera with a good zoom range instead of electric zoom. Efficient raw and SHQ JPG give better quality shots than standard JPG and I find TIFF to be impractical. Adobe RGB is great if you post process and the flip out LCD and flip up EVF are nice. The tracking/continuous focus is a feature I like. I donít do as well with rugrats and people in motion at gatherings with my one camera without it. The 28mm wide is something you will probably use more than a long telephoto. It is great for scenic shots and interiors. I wish they could have both the very long telephoto plus the wide, but I guess that is asking for too much. There are telephoto adapters you can put on it. The A1 probably has more physical controls than anything currently on the market. It takes a while to get proficient with them though. It works fine in program mode with the default settings, but you will have controls for when you want more. The flash integration on the A1 is great if you want to go with a Minolta dedicated unit.
I donít much like the high JPG compression on the S7000. The only way to get a very high quality shot is evidently with the ridiculously large 12Mp interpolated raw. http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/fu..._s7000-review/
I think the S7000 will focus closer with the super macro mode than the A1 will. The A1 is good at macro but the S7000 will do small bugs better.
The A1 uses CF and xD is useless unless you already have an Olympus or Fuji camera. They arenít used on much else. A test I saw on a dual slot Oly showed the speeds to be much slower with xD than with CF. xD cards are slower and pricier than fast CF cards. Just avoid the low speed Sandisk CF cards and off brands.