I have a S9500 - I dont really notice the noise it makes when auto-focusing....
I did hear it last night whilst playing with it in the garden taking pictures of the stars....
I didn't think it sounded 'loud' or 'odd'.
I have a set of 2500Mah rechargables in it and find that the flash charges very quickly indeed.
I do notice a delay (1 - 2 seconds) between viewing photos when you are scrolling through. Not a big problem to me as I usually use the view that lets you see multiple pictures on the screen and scroll the 'mini' pics.
If anybody wants me to try something out for them before they buy it, just PM me and I will be happy to share my results!