i love my canon s200 to pieces... ~$330 online and it gives incredible shots for a 2 megapixel camera
it's supported by iphoto, so no need to worry about using the cd that comes with it (i don't even think i took the cd out of it's protective case)
the best thing about the canon s200 is its size... it is one of the canon elph cameras and is very portable. i've taken so many shots with this camera that i would otherwise have been unable to take because i wouldn't carry a bulky digicam around
the canon s200 fits perfectly in one pocket while my ipod is in another... if apple introduces another device i don't think it will fit...
My father has used his Nikon Coolpix 990 for a while now and it gets excellent shots. You get all these extras, such as loading the pics onto TV (if you have a huge TV and you take detailed photos, you'll like what you see ), saving up to 30 photos, I think, and a mini-LCD for scopin' what yr viewin'.
I'm pretty happy with my Olympus D-510, but I'm not sure if they still make it - there's a D-520 now with very similar specs, so I suspect that's its successor. Price is the same at about $300 list.
Main difference seems to be it only requires 2 AA batteries instead of the 4 that the D-510 needs. This might be good or bad - the D-510 *eats* batteries. If the D-520 has a similar appetite, it'll have a pretty short battery life. However, if it's just that the D-520 consumes less power, battery life will be more acceptable. I have a couple of sets of, uh, whatever those really expensive rechargable ones meant for digital cameras are. It's a good idea to figure in the cost of a couple of sets of batteries and a charger in your total price - if you plan to run the thing on Duracell Ultras or equivalent, expect to be buying a lot of batteries.
2.1 megapixel, can store images as JPEG with various levels of quality, also uncompressed as TIFF (consuming huge amounts of memory in the process). Takes Smart Media, so you're limited to a maximum of 128MB of onboard storage. Comes with a ratty little 8MB card as standard, but it's only $43 for a 128MB one. In JPEG mode at 1600x1200 with high quality (i.e. low compression) the 128MB card'll hold about 277 pics. 3X optical zoom, 2.5X digital zoom, lots of flash settings I've never played with, macro mode for close-ups. 1.5" LCD screen on the back for previewing, etc. Oh, also has a Quicktime mode which is gimmicky and a bit strange, but fun - will take 9 second long movie clips at a reasonable frame rate, 320x240. You want more than 9 seconds though, you got to press the button again, which is strange. 128MB Smart Media'll hold about 3 or 4 minutes of Quicktime, if I remember the numbers correctly.
Basically, it takes nice pictures and I'm very happy with it. Tough too - when I had my little accident earlier this summer and fell down the side of a canyon, the camera went with me. The case got a few scratches, and the next photo my wife tried to take (of my foot pointing in the wrong direction) didn't come out, but it's been fine since.
It's recognized natively by iPhoto, but I rarely dump the contents straight from the camera to USB as that and overuse of the LCD screen are the #1 battery-eating features (of almost all digital cameras, not just this one). S'worth spending $15 or so to get a reader for whatever media your camera takes - just stick the card in the slot and let the USB bus supply the power rather than the camera's poor, over-stressed batteries.
I would recommend the FujiFilm 2800Z
I think for Megapixel and Zoom Ratio and the price, it is the best!!
I Purchased it about five months ago and it is still working(after dropping it numerous times) like a charm!!
It's main features are 2.11 Megapixels and 6x Optical zoom.
Go to Compusa or Best Buy, and compare\play with them.
Here are some links.
Get the Cannon Powershot G2, Cannon Powershot A20 or A10. Those are the best digital cameras i can think of off the top of my head for the best price. Check out the reviews at cnet.com under Product Reviews. I have the Canon Powershot A20 and it works perfectly.