I've been using a Sony bridge camera for the last two or three years. It's close to an slr in its features, has a huge optical zoom and it's very light. But I've been seeing its limitations, so I've moved to a dslr, which is obviously much heavier. I've gone for a bumbag case so that I can carry it reasonably comfortably with easy access to it and no space taken up in the rucksack.
I'd love to take a tripod around with me, especially on dull days, but even my fairly light and portable one is out of the question. I've just invested in one of these: Which I bought as a monopod but is clearly a combined 'pod, walking stick and handy weapon!
I won't use it as a walking stick, I know that some are designed for that but this one isn't. But it will travel happily in or on the side of the rucksack.
If I can carry these things comfortably on a long walk, that should allow me to capture more professional-looking images without hampering my walking too much.
How do you manage to tread the line between portability and quality?