I recently went on a vacation and took only a point and shoot camera I borrowed from my son. When I returned from my trip to the Caribbean, a trip with a bunch of Montanans and the Mission Mountain Wood Band, (it was real fun) I wrote a story for the "Enjoy" and they published about eight of my photos with the story. The camera was a Lumix TZ-5. I really enjoyed the camera. My favorite thing with using the point and shoot is the small size and weight. The worst part was fairly poor low light capability compared to my professional Nikons, and it is really hard to use on full telephoto. The above photo, shot of Mission Mountain Wood Band members performing on the cruise ship Liberty, was a lucky frame. The camera has enough of a delay that it is hard to shoot at the decisive moment. Also, shooting in a dark room full of activity, I struggled trying to figure out how to turn off the pre-flash for auto red eye reduction. With this feature turned on, a preflash fires, then after a delay, the real flash fires and the photo is taken. The delay is awful. So, the lesson here is get to know your camera before you need it.
This camera has a respectfully wide lens, a 28mm. I advise people who ask my opinion about buying a point and shoot to get as wide a lens as possible. It seems like people get hung up on the telephoto. The telephoto will rarely get used, and they are very hard to hand hold on point and shoot cameras. I found the only way to get a sharp photo at full telephoto was to brace the camera on something very steady as I shot. This photo below, shot on full telephoto in Cozumel from my ship, was braced on the ships upper deck.
This photo at right was shot at the camera's widest, 28mm. As you can see, the zoom lens on this little camera does give a great variety for the traveler to use in a small enough body that easily slips into your pocket.
The small size of the point and shoot also makes it very good for street photography, like this photo below of street vendors in Tulum, Mexico. The little camera doesn't stand out like my big Nikon D3 and seems to be much less intimidating.
I must admit, I really enjoyed using the little camera for a week, and I was impressed with it's versatility. On the other hand, I am not ready to give up the Nikon D3. The bottom line is use your imagination, buy the camera with the widest lens possible, don't try to hand hold the camera when zoomed all the way in, and read the book that comes with it.