“Ryan, I want a film camera with the size and pocket-ability of a point and shoot, but the exposure control of a real camera. Is the Ricoh GR my only choice?”
No… But you don’t really have a budget choice on something like this. Small film cameras with good lenses and manual control are expensive and there’s no real way around that.
I love the GR just because it looks cool, but another option (possibly a better one?) is the Contax T2. Essentially, it’s a titanium bodied point and shoot that also boasts full manual control. Hell, the tiny little Zeiss lens even has an aperture ring.
I had one years ago… but sold it when the prices took off. You can find them on eBay for around $750 and up these days.