Basically, Nikon makes crappy handling P&Ses!
Ok to be fair, I'm mainly comparing Nikon and Canon, Sony's handling is even worse off for me.
So on my way back today, I decided to ponder if a P&S would work for me instead, and decided again to drop by Jessops to check out the Panasonic LX5. Seems like it's a very popular camera, as even the display model was sold :-/
Nevermind, I'll check out Nikon's top of the range P&S instead. Costing about an entry level DSLR, (a used D200 is cheaper), it feels really nice, and I was going, "Oh wow, look at all these controls! Gotta be a dream to shoot with!" Sadly, it took me a fair bit of fiddling to actually figure out basic stuff like trying to change the ISO or white balance. Still, it feels very good and well proportioned in my paws.
Tried a few other Nikon P&Ses but I'll not bore you to death further.
Popped over to the Canon section, and lo and behold, the luscious G12 was there. Immediately, I saw how easy it was to manage the camera - ISO was on it's own dial, even with Auto ISO - I may actually prefer having a dedicated ISO dial on my dslr - and EV comp was it's own button, and another dial for easy PASM stuff. I thought it was very well designed, and the handling was superb. Menus were also easy to get into. Folding screen + optical viewfinder? Big big pluses.
Gotta try the LX5, however if it's menu layout is like the TZ8 - I'd say I'd pick either the G12 or LX5, as they are cameras for different purposes - especially the LX5 with the low zoom range and fast lens. P7000? Another top of the line P&S I will probably not care about.