I need a P&S too. I have a DSLR but need a smaller camera to take with me when I cant have my DSLR (ie when I go to Disneyland Paris). But whenever I look at the cheaper point and shoots I think the quality is awful. I'm spoilt now!
I was recommended the Canon S100 or Panasonic P310 by someone who really knows about cameras. However they are over £300 and thats not feasible for me at the moment. I dunno what your budget is.
I may get the Canon SX220 as its fairly decent quality and less than £200.
i have a Panasonic DMC ZS1. it was the shizzle when it came out- and cost about twice what it does now. this is probably the current version of what i have (they need to stop improving everything *sobs*):
i got it because i wanted a point and shoot that i could mess with a little bit if i felt like faffing with settings, that was small enough to stick in a pocket, but decent enough to take really good solid holiday/travel shots.
it's got a whole load of optical zoom, which makes me happy. i can take movies too. it's not difficult to use. it has loads of fun features that are actually useful. no complaints at all.
I've got a Canon Powershot G10. The Powershot Gx series are at the expensive and chunky end of the spectrum for a P&S but I love it for use in situations where I can't take my DSLR like gigs and festivals. It has full manual mode and RAW files which are essential for me. The only criticism is the noise at ISO800 and above but I believe that has been improved in later models. It goes pretty much everywhere with me in a belt pouch. DSLR and lenses only get taken out on special days due to weight and bulk.