I have used the Nikon Coolpix 5700 for 2 years, which has served me well and produced thousands of great photos.
However, the Sony has surpassed all expectations - it produces excellent metering, exposure and colour vibrancy straight out of the box - without tweaking or indepth knowledge of photography. All you basically need to do is choose the right mode with the handy scroll-wheel, compose your picture and shoot! Simple experimentation yields even more impressive results.
The lens lives up to its billing, 5-7MP shots crystal clear and enormous. Powerup is phenomenally rapid (quoted as 1.3sec), ready to snap as quickly as you can lift the camera up to your eye - excellent for capturing special moments (eg young children!). Shutter lag is negligible. Battery stamina is phenomenal - I filled a 256MB and a 64MB card without a single recharge (with zoom, flash and frequent on-off and reviewing photos). Design is ultra-portable, and construction is solid.
It is the 3rd digital camera I have owned, and the best by a surprising margin. I would highly recommend this to anyone requiring up to 7MP size photos, it is worth the extra 50 quid over the P100 (which is identical in all other ways; my father owns one) Definitely a BIG camera in a tiny body! You will not get better at this remarkable price bracket.
My advice: get a BIG memory stick (256-512MB) as you will find it hard to stop snapping... it is THAT good!