I did not wake up thinking I needed a Leica M6. I knew about them and thought it would be nice to shoot one for this project but it was not high on my list. I thought I would save it for the end of the year and watch for a well used one. I had been paying attention to the prices and knew about how much to expect to pay. When I walked by The Leica Store, I went in just to look at the meager used section and grab a few of the free Leica stickers. I noticed two of the sales clerks examining an M6. They said it had just been traded in by a customer buying a new digital Leica. The customer could not remember if he ever used it. They were scrutinizing it and not finding any clear evidence that it had even had a lens mounted or a roll of film loaded.
On a whim I ask, "how much?". They looked at the manager, who looked at some paperwork and gave me a price. It was a good price! Less than I expected to pay for a heavily used one and unlike craigslist, I got a 30 day return. Being who I am, I made a lower counter offer. The manager rechecked the paperwork and suggested we split the difference. Done, I have an M6.
When I got it home I looked it up and found that it was made in early 1985 as part of the first 6,000 units. It is part of a subset know as "early production". The big tell is the red Leitz on the early production and a red Leica on the rest.
Turns out I should not get new looking cameras. I sat it on the shelf and was afraid to use it. The best way to get over that was throw it in a backpack and make it my main camera on an extended trip. First I covered all the identifying marks with gaffer's tape, because Leica translates to "rob me" in all known languages.
Lens: Leica Summicron-M f2 50mm (Thanks to Bellamy at Japan Camera Hunter for helping me source this lens.)
Film: Ilford HP4 Plus 400
I'm not going to give a review here. There are plenty out there. This is an fantastic Camera. Is it the best, or even the best M-mount? I don't have the experience to make that call but this will be hard to beat. It is a rangefinder so I can still take plenty of my beloved lens cap shots. It is a manual camera, but also gives you an easy to use meter.
Argument for the M6 as the best Leica: http://www.japancamerahunter.com/2012/09/why-i-think-the-m6-is-the-best-leica-rangefinder/
Early Production M6 details: https://www.cameraquest.com/m6dif.htm