If you're *really* willing to handle the bulk, I recommend a dSLR. But I love my camera if you're going to go the point and shoot direction. I just graduated to fully manual when using it, but just in auto it works well, too. It's a really awesome camera.
The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
I am also in the market for a new camera (DH doesn't like that I want ANOTHER one though). I would like a DSLR, been looking at the Nikon D40 or D40X (looks like it is for beginners to the whole SLR thing).
Loving JC and CK products... Been loving them for 3 years...looking to branch out and try new things!!!
I have a DSLR (Canon Rebel XTi) that I bought a couple of years ago and I am really happy with it. Canon has since come out with a few upgraded Rebel models--XS, XSi, & T1i--so you can probably find my version at a discount.
The latest model (T1i) is on pre-order right now & also has an HD movie capture mode. <insert drool smilie right here>
There are auto modes on DSLR cameras, so, really, you should be able to just take it out of the box, charge it up and start shooting. Reading the instructions probably won't hurt, either.
If you want to take advantage of the manual modes, I'd suggest you buy a supplemental book or take a class. There are plenty of good websites out there, too, but it was all pretty foreign to me until I had someone right there in front of me to explain it all.