Right now, my choice would be the Canon PowerShot A80. I cite the following reasons: 1. The camera is reasonably sized--small enough to be pocketable, but still large enough for comfortable hand-holding. 2. The camera has been much-lauded for its excellent picture quality with its four-megapixel sensor. 3. The swing-out LCD panel--though small--is great for compositing the shot before you take the picture. 4. It uses commonly-available Compact Flash Type I cards. Why Olympus decided to support their semi-proprietary xD card standard instead of the SD card standard is beyond me. 5. It uses four standard NiMH AA rechargeable batteries, so if you need replacements you can buy them at many stores. This is NOT the case with many smaller digital cameras that uses proprietary rechargeable batteries. Canon just reduced the price of the PowerShot A80 lately and you might be able to get one somewhere in the US$355-US$375 range mail order.