If it was still practical to shoot with film, I would still prefer the F3 over most any camera. That is one smooth operator. Especially the High Eye point model.
While I do love my D2X, the F3 has a feel and an awesome shutter click sound that to me that is un-matchable.
For a small 35 to carry almost anywhere... the old Pentax MX was a gem as well. Smaller than most of its class, but had a comfortable feel to be a small bodied 35.
As for the typical consumer cameras... there were a lot of good ones, but I have an Argus C3 or 4 in my collection now, and there is NO WAY I would have wanted to use it over some others that were out at the time. Especially with all the Zeiss Icon and other really smooth cameras. The old Argus was a brick that was so non-ergonomic and just plain clunky.