Losing one of the command dials of the top side of the camera, shifts functions automatically to the menu of the camera. And that might lead to a risk of slowing down the operation because of having to dig into the camera's menu. That's the theory; in practice I hardly noticed hindrances if any at all. It all depends on how you practice digital photography.
Sony A200 D-SLR - ISO settings
Enhancing the maximum ISO sensitivity from 1600 to 3200 will increase the use of it, Sony must have thought. The additional dedicated ISO button on the top side of the camera comes in handy. And I must admit I tend to adjust the ISO setting to the light circumstances a lot more frequently than in the past thanks to its wider range. Before I would rather adjust aperture and shutter speeds but in particular the availability of high quality ISO values have changed my way of photographing quickly. I do lack a setting on the Sony Alpha A200 and that is the Auto ISO setting that lets you set restrictions in the auto ISO range. The Sony A200 stipulates the range depending on the camera's settings (Auto, Scene, P, A, or S) or restricts it (P, A, S) to ISO 100-400.
Sony Alpha 200 - Speed of focussing
Some improvement was needed on the speed of focussing. Certainly compared to its direct competitors the A100 stayed behind. Unfortunately I was not able to test the AF speed of the A200 in the DIWA Lab but I don't have any complaints about the speed. The Sony A200 responses quickly and correctly and I don't doubt the 1.7x factor of increased speed. Only in dimly lit conditions when the camera uses the AF assist light there are some delays noticeable. The camera fails at focussing correctly at times.
Sony Alpha A200 - Multi-selector
Operation of the Sony Alpha 200 is quite traditional. The buttons are similar to the ones we have gotten used to over the last few years and even the multi-selector, sometimes offering room to work in a more advanced way, still contains four arrows and a confirmation button in the centre of it. There's one advantage to this; you will get used to the camera quickly; certainly when you already have experienced working with a DSLR before.