I am glad that Nikon decided to create the P7000. This indicates that Nikon is not entirely happy to give up the serious compact top slot to Canon and Panasonic. From the way P7000 is designed, you can tell that Nikon considers Canon to be the more serious competitor.
I personally like the P7000 design. Would have liked a faster lens, but if the performance of the sensor and the lens are good enough, then I am happy with the compromise, i.e., longer zoom ratio as opposed to faster lens. The P7000 seems to be aimed at photographers who want to use it as a candid street camera. The long zoom range will be very useful I suspect in getting close to people without intruding. The optical viewfinder seems to be very desired by such photographers, and given that add-on optical finders are so expensive, I am happy to settle for the one in the camera.
All in all, it seems that the P7000 is a great camera; it seems to be a reasonable compromise between price and features; only its performance remains to be seen, and ultimately this will matter more than mere specification. I have no reason to think that Nikon hasn't aimed for high performance, and the samples posted by DPreview look promising.
I hope to acquire one soon and then I will compare it to the Ricoh GR Digital III, which is my current compact camera.