Cameras Above $200
If you really want to go all out on a point and shoot/compact camera you want to be in this price range. As with the other price jump you get more features with more money. Usually these features focus on zoom and megapixels, and better lenses. You also might have more on board features like editing pictures right in the camera itself. Some cameras might even have GPS or built-in wireless. These cameras usually get you closer to the DSLR cameras without the bulk and price.
For me, it is all about the zoom and the speed. The one thing I miss about my SLR camera is the zoom I can get with a big lens. The big lens is the reason I don't use an SLR camera anymore. It is too bulky and heavy, especially when traveling. I used to have a Kodak superzoom which worked great, but even that was too bulky. However, Nikon has started creating superzoom cameras at a compact camera size and I recently got the Coolpix S9100 and love it. It retails for $329.99.
The S9100 has 12mp and an 18x zoom. Yes 18x zoom. It is a little thicker than the s6100, but still fits in my pocket with my phone and wallet in the same pocket. It takes fantastic pictures and is really fast. It is faster than the s6100, which was my other deciding factor in buying this camera. The one downside to this camera is the flash. The flash is powerful and refreshed fast, but I have to manually pop it up if I want to use it. The camera does not decide if a flash is needed. The camera also has fewer manual features. To be honest, I like manual features, but I never find myself using them. As with the other two cameras, this also has multiple color models.
This camera also has the editing features that let me crop, adjust, and add effects to a picture right in the camera. It also has great burst modes for taking back to back to back pictures. I highly recommend it.
Whether you want to spend hundreds of dollars or under $100 for a camera, there are plenty of options out there. To find the best compact digital camera for the money, I suggest sticking to name brands like Nikon, Kodak, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, etc. Shop around and find the camera that is right for you. Most importantly have fun taking your pictures!