I deliberated long and hard about buying a Canon "G11" series camera. In fact, so long that by the time I'd decided to investigate/research prices online, the G12 had been released! I wasn't sure I could justify the cost as I own an EOS450d, which for my amateur purposes was more than adequate. Only thing with the EOS: size and weight. I wanted a pocket-size camera that would still give me freedom to play with aperture/shutter speed etc. and that I could comfortably carry around all day - even when just going out to the shops or collecting children from school.
The camera is certainly bigger and heavier than a simple point-and-shoot: you'd need pretty big pockets! (But I knew that from reading online reviews.) Having looked at point-and-shoot, I knew I wouldn't be happy with one: they're too light and flimsy for me and another major point: I didn't like the fact that most came without a viewfinder.
The Canon G12 feels good in the hand, and - surprise, surprise, I've hardly used the viewfinder, as the swing-out screen with its useful "spirit level" function is really good quality in all lights. If you're used to a Canon dslr then the controls on the G12 should look/feel familiar.
I'm really pleased with initial pictures, using the auto function(nothing too ambitious yet); you can see two of the first set I took above: close-up of rose and close-up of autumn leaves.
Slight niggle: it would have been nice to have had a paper manual included rather than just a cd.
So, after reading the reviews here on Amazon and on dpreview online, I'm really pleased with my purchase. No nasty surprises: just as I expected and a good price from Amazon.