Thank you for all your comments about your cameras. I decided to go for the Lumix TZ4 (pictured in my rambling post) and see if I liked it. Costco really sweetened the deal by giving me a $70 coupon which I ended up getting a raincheck for and then an extra $30 off when the camera was back in stock. It was a great package deal with a case, sd card, and 50 free prints. Overall too hard to resist.
I have had the camera a few days now and I am still learning how to use all of it's many features. I'm excited about all of it's capibilities (and sad I didn't have it last weekend for all our fun excursions). So far, I'm liking the camera a lot and happy with my purchase. I find myself taking the same pictures over and over with different settings trying to figure what exactly they do. It's been great fun! I can't wait to take it to Southern Utah for our anniversary trip next month.