It is quite amazing that many manufacturers expect us to pay a lot of money on a camera which, when it arrives, turns out to have a plastic tripod socket.
The close-up capabilities of most digicams is marvellous, but to get the best from them a tripod is essential. Metal sockets are clearly far more durable than their plastic counterparts.
I propose that a new forum be set up so that members could enter in the subject line the make, model, and either metal tripod socket or plastic tripod socket. We could then simply skim through the listing to find the information.