As usual I suspect that Panasonic have done all their ergonomic testing inside Japan using average sized Japanese hands.
Most probably petit ladies
Then they fail to realise that some of us in other countries have substantially larger hands and then they do not bother to make designs that are compatible with both small and large hands.
As a new owner of the G3, that is my biggest problem with the camera - not enough room and accidentally pressing buttons because it is so difficult to grab the camera.
With all the functions available via the excellent Quick menu, I would welcome an option to disable the buttons.