I realize this thread is a bit old now but heres my two cents if you are still interested.
My girlfriend bought me a Fuji S8000FD for Xmas which we immediately took to India for 2 weeks. It was a great setting to give the camera a full workout and it performed admirably most of the time. If nothing else, it made photography a lot of fun for me. And really, I found this to be the most important thing because when I travelled Europe with my Canon Elph P&S I got some decent pictures but I found that I ended up getting pretty frustrated and bored with the camera and the pictures. With the Fuji I had lots of options to play with and I actually felt I was capturing moments rather than just taking boring pictures.
As for the camera itself, the only time I found myself getting frustrated or unhappy was in low lighting conditions. The flash is actually not bad, but with low light and even the slightest bit of movement, the shots look like they could be taken with any cheap camera on the market. I suppose this is the reason that all that SLR equipment is available anyways. That being said, I absolutely loved the zoom. I was able to get plenty of fantastic candid portraits because I could focus on my target from across the room so that he/she would not get squeamish at the sight of a camera.
So I guess what I am trying to say is that, for me, the superzoom has been a great way to get started with serious photography. In most conditions I can get fantastic photos without having to carry around tons of equipment or spend too much money.
[I]Everyday is a school day[/I]