The reason most people are interested in this camera is because of it's zoom, and it's ability to take decent pictures without carting a DSLR with various lenses around. And it is therefore a very good camera for this purpose.
Granted it has a few faults, which are better explained by other reviewers, but the main complaint I have come across is that the images are soft. Some of them are, but when you compare against a DSLR it is always going to come off worse! However, by playing around with settings you can improve them considerably.
Overall I have found this camera extremely good, and think that it's advantages more than outweigh it's disadvantages. If you want to take serious photos then you will need a DSLR, but for most people this is more than adequate. I have spent ages trawling through the reviews on Amazon and appreciate them enormously (hence why I am adding my pennies worth) but no-one has the same requirements and needs from any one camera, so there will always be an element of bias.
I own a Canon DSLR and several point and shoots (I can't stop buying cameras) but they all fulfill different functions, as there is no camera on the market that can do everything...for everyone!
The best advice anyone can give is to go into a camera shop and play around with as many cameras as possible - make them put batteries and a memory card in so you can take some pictures and make comparisons. Then you can look around online for the best deal. Also make a list of the features you really want, so you don't get carried away by fancy features you will never use.
Also remember that everyone has different preferences, and some cameras just feel more intuitive to you!