I just wanted to say thanks for all your help. I didn't actually post myself, but I read a bunch of threads on this forum, and of course the reviews on this site, and gathered a lot of usefull info before I took the plung and bought a new camera. I'm glad I did too, because I wound up going with a totally different camera than I started out thinking I wanted.
Anyway, thanks. And if your curious about what I bought, it's an FZ30. So far, it's awesome. I think it will be some time before my skills are up to the level of this cameras potential, but it'll be fun getting there.