Well, after much flip flopping between the Canon S2, the FZ5, the FZ20, and the FZ30; I have purchased the 30. The posts here along with reviews here and at other sights were a big help. Like others, I kept reading about the noise issue (and being a newbie had to educate myself as to what that even meant) and had some concerns.
This is a big jump, as I have been using a Nikon Coolpix 4800. It takes beautiful pictures, and the macro mood is incredible; but I wanted something to really learn on and there was little in the way of any real control on it. You could select scene modes, but that was about it.
So now comes the learning curve. About 20% to 25% of pictures are unusable because of wrong settings (ie forgetting to change white balance from flash to what ever), or blurring due to user error (that would be error ID 10 T, put them together to get ID10T or IDIOT - that's me :?). But I am sure am enjoying this camera.
So thanks for all the input you gave to this lurker. I might get brave enough to post a few of my feeble attempts at picture taking, who knows.