I really, really appreciate all the suggestions you gave. I googled every single one of them and read the specs and multiple reviews, from the manufacturers and from several non-biased review sites. I also did in-store testing on most of them.
I ruled out the SLR first. Due to an eye disease, I can no longer focus a camera manually so all those extra wonderful things you get with SLR are mostly wasted on me. I also ruled out the HP Photosmart R707. That is the exact camera that I'm replacing. It wasn't bad, but the LCD was smallish and it has a longer shutter lag than I was wanting.
The Kodak, Olympus and Casio went next for various reasons. Mostly because their reviews weren't quite as good as the Canon and Sony models.
I looked at all the Canon and Sony models that were in my price range and did the things I wanted. It took me several days, but I finally narrowed it down to the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W90 and the Canon SD850.
(I chose these two models because I wanted at least 7 megapixels. I considered the 12 megapixel models but a friend in the industry said that anything over 10 is wasted in a point and shoot.)
Both models are great cameras and do everything I want them to do. Canon's Digital ELPH system is rocking. Sony's Carl Zeiss lenses are superb. I went back and forth down at Best Buy, trying them out. Asking questions. We had a very helpful employee who really knew his stuff. (You could tell he knew cameras because when I asked him how to do something he was able to bring it up in the menu systems on both cameras in a matter of seconds. Also, I purposely asked questions I already knew the answers to and he got them all right.)
Basically, it came down to this: The Canon has a little richer color system and the LCD screen was a bit better. The Sony produced crisper photos and had maybe one-zillionth of a second less shutter lag.
So which one did I choose? Drum roll please...
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W90
My reasoning: it's easier to pump up the color in Photoshop then it is to make a photo crisper. Since I have Photoshop and I know how to use it, I went with crisp.
But enough of all that. You want to know who won the prize, right? Well, technically, no one because none of you mentioned this specific model. But not giving away a prize? That isn't any fun.
Suan, Josi and Susan all mentioned Sony Cyber-shots, but none of them suggested the model I ended up choosing. Also, while Julie didn't suggest a Sony at all, she gave me the URL to a website with incredible information. That information was a huge factor in making my decision.
So if it's all the same to you, I'd like to split up the prize and send each of you a tea light warmer and one UB oil of your choice. Go here to see a list of all the oils. E-mail me the one you want AND your physical mailing address. I'll get those prizes out to you a lot quicker than it took me to make up my mind on the camera. I promise.
And for the rest of you, here are my first three photos taken with my new, wonderful Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W90.
Megan and Carter
Megan and Laney
Carter saying "Cheese!"
Hmmm. Maybe I need a little more practice before I turn pro.