I'm not expert enough to answer all your questions kunkel321, but I'll make a few comments anyways
A friend of mine had a fuji camera a few years back, cant remember the model, it was solid with a very good grip, had a good zoom and took good pictures. I would have considered them but I had difficulty finding good reviews and then I got into the idea of getting the Olympus E-PL2.
My previous camera (Olympus C5060, 6ish yrs old) was also what I think were called "prosumer" cameras (fixed lens, but biggish body) - the new camera (mirrorless, can change lenses) is much lighter than my older one and fits in the same camera bag
I really like it but the kit lens is only 3x - a lot of people would prefer to have a long zoom - and if you want to use a long zoom casually, it's got to be a compact or fixed lens camera at any rate.
Re image quality, I read somewhere that the sensor on the average mirrorless camera (I honestly dont know what to call them!) is 6 times the size of the average compact camera. I can really see a difference and I love it. Mainly less noise in shadows, but just better image all round. DSLR would be even better if you're willing to lug the thing around. I'm happy with my compromise.
But you've really got to look at lenses if you're comparing the two - you can get the sony nex3 (absolutely super image quality) for some ridiculous price like 350 euros but that's with a 35mm equivalent lens (no zoom) - if you want a little zoom (3x I think) you've got to pay at least 100 more, and if you want a better lens (kit lenses are "ok" i.e. not great, not terrible) a better lens could end up costing you more than the camera did.
I like the idea though that if I wanted to
I could get another lens for the Olypmus at some stage, rather than having to get another camera. But I might never