Sony is coming along - and Mark, your thread is awesome!
I am following this thread because I have a Panasonic DMC-FZ and have used it well over the past 3 years or so (a very nice little cameraI got from Vann's online for about $240). I feel that I have graduated sufficiently to look for something a bit better and my most recent candidate is the Sony NEX-5 which in my opinion is equivalent to a P&S while giving the owner the flexibility to grow it into a pro set. Anyone with any actual experience using these new cameras?
I realize that it is a couple of hundred over the price point the OP indicated, but I would assert that these days, a couple of hundred can in fact give you a significantly camera. So would you (TGY) consider widening the price point by a bit to get significantly better equipment that would take you through the next (let's say) 5 or so years of happy point and clicking?
Om....save more....om...buy less...remember why you switched from the fusion system......