So I made a decision. I decided to stop spending so much time researching a camera and go with the one I originally wanted. In the side-by-side reviews it was as good as some of the more expensive ones. I ordered it online (with a 4 GB SD card, a MicroMate Reader, a camera bag and an extra battery, with S&H I still spent less than I would on the camera alone here in town) and it came the NEXT day, amazing.
I posted some shots here, so far I am really very pleased with my purchase and I haven't even had any Kodak moments to record yet.