DPR did a group test of travel compacts
a few months ago and liked the Casio FH100 and Samsung HZ35W, giving them both gold awards. The S0ny HX5 ranked near the top in IQ parameters, but they complained of a sluggish an unintuitive interface.
They didn't like the bigger brother of your Canon, the SX210 IS, complaining of soft images.
Thanks for that link. After reading that article, I have realized that SX130 will likely not be a good choice and will probably not provide much of an upgrade over my current camera. So it looks like I should definitely try to stretch my budget and it will pay off.
As for SX210, I am somewhat confused about their conclusions. While the images are somewhat fuzzier, in the article they comment that this will not be an issue for small sized prints or for web viewing and the camera does do fine in terms of exposure. For example, they praised its indoor shot of the couple and the night shot was certainly better lit than say the H55. Casio, the one they praise the most, seemed to not return good colors in tests like the night shot and yet they gave it top marks in low light?? So their comments on the individual pages do not always seem to match up with their final conclusions.
Overall this is what I got out of it:
1. Avoid the Kodak Z950, Ricoh CX3, Fujifilm JZ500 Olympus 9000.
2. H55 is decidedly inferior to HX5V. HX5 returns great images overall without much effort on the part of the photographer (great!) but can be slow between shots.
3. F80EXR works well only when using the "DR" or "SN" modes using the EXR technology and thus putting it in 6MP mode (but I guess 6MP is good enough).
4. To my untrained eye, SX210 seems to do well in terms of exposure (very few totally dark areas) and colors but images are a little fuzzed out when you attempt to view them at full resolution.
5. I should probably take a closer look at the Coolpix S8000 and its backlit-CMOS toting bigger brother S8100.