Photographic Swiss-Army Knife
Having used the NEX-5 for about 2 months now, I think the target market is actually pretty big: from enthusiast photographers (like myself) who want a carry-everywhere camera to regular people who just want to take great photographs. Many people who are convinced by camera salesmen to buy an SLR for the quality (travellers, new parents etc) but they never move beyond the Auto mode and are stuck with this giant black lump. The NEX is what they should be convinced to buy.
It's hard to explain but there really is no contest between my DSLR and the NEX. I can carry the NEX at times when I wouldn't even have thought of bringing the DSLR (random shopping trips, taking the kids for a walk, going to the gym etc) and so I get shots I'd never have got with the SLR. The SLR still gets an outing if I'm planning a specific photographic excursion, but mostly I use the NEX.
Don't underestimate the flexibility and features of this camera. It's like a photographic swiss-army knife.