The R8 was never Leica's prettiest camera. And Leica purists hated it; "It is too big, its shape is unconventional .... Leicas just shouldn't look like this' they said.
But over time the R8 has proved itself to be rugged and reliable. As a dealer I can tell you this is the most reliable film camera you can buy.
Leica R8s and newer R9s always seem to work despite being 20+ year old. And they very rarely need servicing unlike Nikon's FM2s or F3s.
There's another benefit too. R8 lenses are relatively cheap. Much cheaper than Leica's rangefinder lenses, despite being equally good. Don't get me wrong, they're still quite expensive but given they last forever do represent good value for money.