I have a canon A70 and am very pleased with it. It does great closeups in good light, when using the flash it can be overpowering up close so some diffuser would be of help. The A80 is better in that the viewing panel can be viewed from any angle, definately go for that feature on any camera.
As far as getting better flash power with these cameras, slave flash units can be had for those without hotshoes. I have a Phoenix model on order from Porters camera store 'pro slave flash 66s' I will add a more powerfull flash to this slave unit and be set up for most lighting situations.:|