For point-and-shoots, I have always loved the user interface and quality photos that Canon Powershots provide.
Unfortunately, I'm not very gentle with my cameras, and I ended up breaking three different models over about 5 or 6 years. I finally got sick and tired of dropping $300 on a new camera every two years.
The biggest problem I found on the Canons was that the power button could be pushed by accident while in my pocket, or in luggage ... if not in a case. When the power comes on, the lens tries to extract, and if there's not room for that, its a big problem and ultimately causes a permanently fatal lens error.
I dropped another one while ice-skating and it never worked again.
So despite my love for the Canon product, I decided it was time to pick something new.
I went with the new-ish Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1. It's waterproof and shockproof and dustproof! AND the lens doesn't extract. And 12MP. Canon has a waterproof/shockproof/freezeproof model (D10), but these features make it a little bit too bulky for me to want to carry it around in my pocket. The TS1 is not the smallest point-and-shoot out there, but it still is very comfortable for me to have along. Not obtrusive in jeans pockets, and definitely not in some hiking cargos. It shoots HD video, but only zooms to 4.6x (128mm). The wide side is 28mm which I find to be better than many point-and-shoots, and I'm especially happy about being able to bring it along to the pool, lake, stream, swimming hole, monsoon storm etc. without having to pay any attention to the water.
It's not waterproof for diving purposes. Its technically only rated to 10 feet, but that's more than adequate for my point-and-shoot needs. Oh, and the shock-proof is great too. Made to drop from 5-feet onto a concrete floor. I rarely hold it over my head and drop, so I'm pretty ok with that. The dustproof is a favorite feature of mine as this state can get pretty dusty in the summer, and all three of my Canons ended up with dust inside the lens that could not be removed. It showed up on any picture that I used the zoom on. Really annoying.
The user interface took me a little time to figure out because its different from the way Canon handles things, but there's a ton of features, lots of automatic settings, and still quite a few manual controls for doing custom manipulations if you want.
One thing I consider important is the lens. A 12MP camera with a good lens will take much better photos than a 12MP camera with a crappy lens. Being 12MP does not make them equal. Canon makes great lenses. As does Nikon. They are camera companies and have been making lenses for generations. The tech companies that now make digital cameras often buy cheap lenses from random companies in China. Panasonic Lumix cameras use lenses made by Leica ... a very reputable German company that has also been making lenses forever. Be cautious and read reviews carefully when considering a non-photo-company brand (HP, Samsung, Ricoh, Sony, etc.) Some are better than others.
Everybody wants something different from their camera. To somebody who takes better care of things than I do, I'd recommend a Canon Powershot. I know many people who have and love them. For my outdoor adventures, I found that something a bit more durable was in order, and have been pretty happy with the first 6 months of my TS1.
Wow. Sorry I got carried away there ... anybody still awake?